What is the pathogenesis of acute cholecystitis?

Updated: May 20, 2021
  • Author: Alan A Bloom, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Acute calculous cholecystitis is caused by an obstruction of the cystic duct, leading to distention of the gallbladder. As the gallbladder becomes distended, blood flow and lymphatic drainage are compromised, leading to mucosal ischemia and necrosis.

Although the exact mechanism of acalculous cholecystitis is unclear, several theories exist. Injury may be the result of retained concentrated bile, an extremely noxious substance. In the presence of prolonged fasting, the gallbladder does not receive a cholecystokinin (CCK) stimulus to empty; thus, the concentrated bile remains stagnant in the lumen. [3, 4]

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