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HPB Surg. 1990 Jul;2(3):177-83.

Acute biliary septic shock.

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Department of Surgery, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, R.O.C.


Forty-seven cases of biliary tract infection with septic shock are presented. The sepsis was caused by empyema of the gallbladder in 23 cases and by cholangitis in the remainder. Gallstones were most frequently the cause of the sepsis. An appropriate diagnostic description of the syndrome of biliary tract infection and septic shock should therefore include a description of the underlying biliary disease as well as the term acute biliary shock. In this series, emergency surgical management by removal of gallstones and drainage of suppuration was felt to be the most appropriate treatment. There was a high incidence of gallbladder rupture (10.6%) and intrahepatic stones (53.2%). Of the 13 patients who died, 8 might have survived if early operation had been performed after the diagnosis of acute biliary septic shock was established.

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