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Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Mar;98(9):e14492. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000014492.

Acute cholecystitis as a rare and overlooked complication in stroke patients: A retrospective monocentric study.

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Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong.
Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, College of Medicine.
Department of Medicine, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Acute cholecystitis (AC) is a rare but possible medical complication found in stroke patients. As many stroke patients present with neurologic symptoms, such as altered mental status, motor weakness, global aphasia, or dysarthria, clinical symptoms and signs of AC are often unexpressed or overlooked. As a result, the diagnosis of AC is often delayed with subsequent secondary complications in these stroke patients. This study aims to evaluate the clinical incidence, manifestations, and predictive factors of AC in stroke patients.A retrospective cohort study was conducted between January 2013 and December of 2017 of all stroke patients (n = 2699) who have been admitted to our stroke center of the university hospital. We evaluated patient demographics, presenting symptoms, vital signs, laboratory results, mean initial consecutive fasting time, mean total fasting time, modified Rankin Scale (mRS), as well as radiological findings of abdominal computed tomography (CT) or ultrasonography.AC was diagnosed in 28 of the 2699 patients (1.04%). Of these patients with AC, gallbladder stones (calculous cholecystitis) were found in 4 patients (14.3%), and 24 patients (85.7%) were diagnosed with a calculous cholecystitis. Subgroup analysis revealed that of the 28 stroke patients with AC, those who underwent neurosurgical intervention (n = 15) had increased incidence of AC compared with those who did not (2.3% vs 0.6%, respectively, P < .001). Furthermore, the initial consecutive fasting time, total fasting time, and mRS were all predictive factors (P < .05) for developing AC in stroke patients.The incidence of AC was higher in acute stroke patients who required neurosurgical intervention, with longer initial consecutive fasting time, total fasting time, and higher mRS. We recommend early enteral nutrition and to maintain a high degree of clinical suspicion to make an early diagnosis of AC in stroke patients for improved outcome.

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