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Am Surg. 2013 May;79(5):524-7.

Percutaneous cholecystostomy is a definitive treatment for acute cholecystitis in elderly high-risk patients.

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Department of General Surgery, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangshu Province, China.


Percutaneous cholecystostomy (PC) is an alternative treatment for acute cholecystitis (AC) in elderly patients with high surgical risk and has lower morbidity and mortality than emergency cholecystectomy. There is controversy about whether cholecystectomy should be performed after PC in elderly high-risk patients. Medical records of patients with AC admitted to the Department of Surgery, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, China, between January 2004 and July 2009 were reviewed retrospectively. The elderly high-risk patients with AC who underwent PC were selected for further study. The safety, efficacy, and long-term outcome of PC without cholecystectomy were evaluated in these patients. The symptoms of AC resolved in 98.6 per cent of patients; drainage-related morbidity and mortality rates were 4.1 and 1.4 per cent, respectively. No patient underwent cholecystectomy after PC. The recurrence rate of cholecystitis was 4.1 per cent. The one-year survival rate was 82.2 per cent, and the three-year survival rate was 39.7 per cent. No death was related to cholecystitis, but one patient died of septic shock on the second day after PC. Considering limited survival and a low recurrence rate of cholecystitis in elderly high-risk patients with AC, we propose that PC is a definitive treatment and cholecystectomy is not necessary after resolution of AC symptoms.

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