Which lab tests may be useful in the diagnosis of cholecystitis?

Updated: May 20, 2021
  • Author: Alan A Bloom, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Laboratory tests are not always reliable, but the following findings may be diagnostically useful:

  • Leukocytosis with a left shift may be observed

  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels may be elevated in cholecystitis or with common bile duct (CBD) obstruction

  • Bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase assays may reveal evidence of CBD obstruction

  • Amylase/lipase assays are used to assess for pancreatitis; amylase may also be mildly elevated in cholecystitis

  • Alkaline phosphatase level may be elevated (25% of patients with cholecystitis)

  • Urinalysis is used to rule out pyelonephritis and renal calculi

  • All females of childbearing age should undergo pregnancy testing

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