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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2000 Apr;174(4):979-83.

Xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis: clinical, sonographic, and CT findings in 26 patients.

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Department of Radiology (Servicio de Radiodiagnóstico), Hospital Sierrallana, Torrelavega, Cantabria, España.



The purpose of our study was to evaluate the sonographic and CT features of xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis, correlating the pathologic and surgical findings.


Xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis was pathologically diagnosed in 26 patients from January 1996 to August 1998. The patients were 15 women and 11 men with a mean age of 63 years. All patients had preoperative sonography and nine also underwent CT In five patients, sonography was performed on the surgical specimen. Clinical indications for imaging included cholecystitis (14 patients), biliary colic (six patients), stone-induced pancreatitis (three patients), tumor (two patients), and gallstone ileus (one patient).


The most characteristic sonographic finding, confirmed by sonographic study of the surgical specimens, was the presence of hypoechoic nodules or bands in the gallbladder wall, which were seen in 35% of the patients. Cholelithiasis and a thickened gallbladder wall were frequent findings. The most characteristic (specific) CT finding was a hypodense band in the gallbladder wall, seen in 33% of the patients. Two of twelve patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy required conversion to open surgery.


Although the preoperative imaging diagnosis of xanthoganulomatous cholecystitis is difficult, the presence of hypoechoic nodules or bands in the gallbladder wall on sonography or of a hypodense band around the gallbladder on CT, is highly suggestive of this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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