Staphylococcal Acalculous Cholecystitis in a Child

Vandana Batra, MD, Jocelyn Y. Ang, MD, Basim I. Asmar, MD


South Med J. 2003;96(2) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Acute acalculous cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder in the absence of gallstones. It usually occurs in critically ill patients and is rare in the pediatric age group. We describe a 12-year-old boy who presented with fever, jaundice, and abdominal pain and was found to have acute acalculous cholecystitis, sacroiliitis, and pelvic osteomyelitis associated with bacteremia as a result of Staphylococcus aureus. Antibiotic therapy without surgical intervention was effective. A high index of suspicion is required to make an early diagnosis and institute appropriate treatment for children with this condition. Although cholecystectomy has been considered the standard therapy, medical treatment alone can be successful.

Acute acalculous cholecystitis is an inflammatory process of the gallbladder in the absence of gallstones. Disease of the gallbladder is rare in the pediatric age group. It is estimated that 1.3 pediatric cases occur for every 1,000 adult cases.[1] In pediatric patients, 30 to 50% of cholecystitis cases are acalculous, compared with 2 to 17% of cases in adult patients.[2,3,4] We present the case of a 12-year-old boy who had acute acalculous cholecystitis in association with sacroiliitis and pelvic osteomyelitis as a result of staphylococcal bacteremia.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: