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Lancet Infect Dis. 2006 Feb;6(2):118-20.

Emphysematous cholecystitis due to Salmonella derby.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and the Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.


We present the case of a woman with diabetes mellitus who developed symptoms and signs consistent with gastroenteritis. After admission for hydration, the patient rapidly became critically ill and an abdominal catastrophe was suspected as the cause of her deterioration. Computed tomography of her abdomen was done and revealed gas in the lumen of the gallbladder consistent with emphysematous cholecystitis. She underwent emergent cholecystectomy, which revealed that the gallbladder had already ruptured. Blood cultures grew Salmonella derby. After a prolonged hospitalisation she eventually recovered and was discharged home. Emphysematous cholecystitis, thought to be a variant of acute cholecystitis, is a medical and surgical emergency. Diagnosis relies heavily on imaging findings by ultrasound or computed tomography since the clinical presentation is often non-specific. Cholecystectomy remains the treatment of choice in addition to broad spectrum antibiotics and other supportive measures.

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