What is the presentation of cholecystitis in old and young patients?

Updated: May 20, 2021
  • Author: Alan A Bloom, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Cholecystitis may present differently in special populations, as follows:

  • Elderly (especially diabetics) – May present with vague symptoms and without many key historical and physical findings (eg, pain and fever), with localized tenderness the only presenting sign; may progress to complicated cholecystitis rapidly and without warning

  • Children – May present without many of the classic findings; those at higher risk for cholecystitis include patients with sickle cell disease, serious illness, a requirement for prolonged total parenteral nutrition (TPN), hemolytic conditions, or congenital and biliary anomalies


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