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J Laparoendosc Surg. 1995 Dec;5(6):357-61.

Importance of accurate preoperative diagnosis and role of advanced laparoscopic cholecystectomy in relieving chronic acalculous cholecystitis.

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Department of Surgery, Medical Center Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA.


Between April 1, 1989, and January 1, 1994, 38 patients with chronic acalculous cholecystitis underwent an advanced (3-puncture) laparoscopic cholecystectomy at our institution. The 30 women and 8 men had a mean age of 39 years (range, 23 to 65 years) and represented 4.5% of our overall gallbladder patient population. In each case, the disease produced typical biliary colic, but no gallstones were visualized on ultrasound examination; cholecystokinin-stimulated cholescintigraphy revealed a dysfunctional gallbladder, as evidenced by an ejection fraction of < or = 35% or nonvisualization or nonemptying of the organ. In all 38 cases, cholecystectomy resulted in the complete relief of symptoms. Although an increasing number of physicians are recommending this operation for acalculous gallbladder disease, it should not be performed on the basis of clinical history alone. Rather, objective criteria confirming the need for surgical intervention should be obtained by means of appropriate preoperative testing, including cholecystokinin-stimulated cholescintigraphy.

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