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Acute Cholangitis

Acute cholangitis is a life-threatening condition characterized by fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice, and abdominal pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways which develops as a result of stasis and infection of the biliary tract Biliary tract Bile is secreted by hepatocytes into thin channels called canaliculi. These canaliculi lead into slightly larger interlobular bile ductules, which are part of the portal triads at the "corners" of hepatic lobules. The bile leaves the liver via the right and left hepatic ducts, which join together to form the common hepatic duct. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy. Septic shock Septic shock Sepsis associated with hypotension or hypoperfusion despite adequate fluid resuscitation. Perfusion abnormalities may include, but are not limited to lactic acidosis; oliguria; or acute alteration in mental status. Sepsis and Septic Shock, liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease, and multi-organ dysfunction Multi-Organ Dysfunction Toxic Shock Syndrome are potential serious complications. The diagnosis is confirmed with ultrasound showing dilation of the common bile duct common bile duct The largest bile duct. It is formed by the junction of the cystic duct and the common hepatic duct. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy ( CBD CBD Atypical Parkinsonian Syndromes) or gallstones Gallstones Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis, elevated liver function tests Liver function tests Liver function tests, also known as hepatic function panels, are one of the most commonly performed screening blood tests. Such tests are also used to detect, evaluate, and monitor acute and chronic liver diseases. Liver Function Tests, and leukocytosis Leukocytosis A transient increase in the number of leukocytes in a body fluid. West Nile Virus. Treatment includes hemodynamic stabilization, broad-spectrum Broad-Spectrum Fluoroquinolones antibiotics, urgent biliary drainage, and cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed with the goal of resecting and extracting the gallbladder. It is one of the most common abdominal surgeries performed in the Western world. Cholecystectomy is performed for symptomatic cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, gallbladder polyps > 0.5 cm, porcelain gallbladder, choledocholithiasis and gallstone pancreatitis, and rarely, for gallbladder cancer. Cholecystectomy to prevent recurrence.

Last updated: 11 May, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Epidemiology

  • Relatively uncommon
  • Men and women are equally affected.
  • More common in adults
  • Peak incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency is in the 6th and 7th decades of life.
  • Increased incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency in Northern Europeans, Hispanics, and Native Americans

Etiology

  • Obstruction of the biliary system:
    • Choledocholithiasis Choledocholithiasis Presence or formation of gallstones in the common bile duct. Cholelithiasis (responsible for 60% of cases)
    • Biliary strictures
    • Malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
    • Extrinsic compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma (pancreatic pseudocyst or acute pancreatitis Acute pancreatitis Acute pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease of the pancreas due to autodigestion. Common etiologies include gallstones and excessive alcohol use. Patients typically present with epigastric pain radiating to the back. Acute Pancreatitis)
    • Parasites ( Ascaris Ascaris Ascaris is a genus of parasitic nematodes. The infection, ascariasis, is most often caused by A. lumbricoides. Transmission occurs primarily via ingestion of water or food contaminated with Ascaris eggs. Most patients with ascariasis are asymptomatic. Ascaris/Ascariasis lumbricoides
    • Postinfectious strictures (e.g., AIDS AIDS Chronic HIV infection and depletion of CD4 cells eventually results in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can be diagnosed by the presence of certain opportunistic diseases called AIDS-defining conditions. These conditions include a wide spectrum of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections as well as several malignancies and generalized conditions. HIV Infection and AIDS cholangiopathy)
  • Iatrogenic Iatrogenic Any adverse condition in a patient occurring as the result of treatment by a physician, surgeon, or other health professional, especially infections acquired by a patient during the course of treatment. Anterior Cord Syndrome manipulation of the bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy tract:
    • ERCP ERCP Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis ( endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of Vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (Vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
    • Sphincterotomy Sphincterotomy Surgical incision of a sphincter. Anal Fissure
    • Stent placement
  • Commonly a bacterial infection in the setting of biliary obstruction; causative organisms include:
    • Gram-negative bacteria gram-negative bacteria Bacteria which lose crystal violet stain but are stained pink when treated by gram’s method. Bacteriology (most common)
      • Escherichia coli (isolated in up to 50% of cases)
      • Klebsiella Klebsiella Klebsiella are encapsulated gram-negative, lactose-fermenting bacilli. They form pink colonies on MacConkey agar due to lactose fermentation. The main virulence factor is a polysaccharide capsule. Klebsiella pneumoniae is the most important pathogenic species. Klebsiella 
      • Pseudomonas Pseudomonas Pseudomonas is a non-lactose-fermenting, gram-negative bacillus that produces pyocyanin, which gives it a characteristic blue-green color. Pseudomonas is found ubiquitously in the environment, as well as in moist reservoirs, such as hospital sinks and respiratory equipment. Pseudomonas
      • Serratia
      • Proteus Proteus Proteus spp. are gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic bacilli. Different types of infection result from Proteus, but the urinary tract is the most common site. The majority of cases are caused by Proteus mirabilis (P. mirabilis). The bacteria are part of the normal intestinal flora and are also found in the environment. Proteus
      • Bacteroides Bacteroides Bacteroides is a genus of opportunistic, anaerobic, gram-negative bacilli. Bacteroides fragilis is the most common species involved in human disease and is part of the normal flora of the large intestine. Bacteroides
    • Gram-positive bacteria gram-positive bacteria Bacteria which retain the crystal violet stain when treated by gram’s method. Bacteriology
      • Enterococcus Enterococcus Enterococcus is a genus of oval-shaped gram-positive cocci that are arranged in pairs or short chains. Distinguishing factors include optochin resistance and the presence of pyrrolidonyl arylamidase (PYR) and Lancefield D antigen. Enterococcus is part of the normal flora of the human GI tract. Enterococcus
      • Streptococcus Streptococcus Streptococcus is one of the two medically important genera of gram-positive cocci, the other being Staphylococcus. Streptococci are identified as different species on blood agar on the basis of their hemolytic pattern and sensitivity to optochin and bacitracin. There are many pathogenic species of streptococci, including S. pyogenes, S. agalactiae, S. pneumoniae, and the viridans streptococci. Streptococcus
      • Clostridia Clostridia Clostridia species comprise a group of spore-forming, obligate anaerobic, gram-positive bacilli. Major pathogenic species include Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens), which is associated with gas gangrene; Clostridioides difficile, which is associated with pseudomembranous colitis; C. tetani, which causes tetanus; and C. botulinum, which causes botulism. Clostridia

Mnemonic: Bacteria Bacteria Bacteria are prokaryotic single-celled microorganisms that are metabolically active and divide by binary fission. Some of these organisms play a significant role in the pathogenesis of diseases. Bacteriology responsible for cholangitis—KEEPS:

  • K: Klebsiella Klebsiella Klebsiella are encapsulated gram-negative, lactose-fermenting bacilli. They form pink colonies on MacConkey agar due to lactose fermentation. The main virulence factor is a polysaccharide capsule. Klebsiella pneumoniae is the most important pathogenic species. Klebsiella
  • E: Enterococcus Enterococcus Enterococcus is a genus of oval-shaped gram-positive cocci that are arranged in pairs or short chains. Distinguishing factors include optochin resistance and the presence of pyrrolidonyl arylamidase (PYR) and Lancefield D antigen. Enterococcus is part of the normal flora of the human GI tract. Enterococcus
  • E: E. coli
  • P: Proteus Proteus Proteus spp. are gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic bacilli. Different types of infection result from Proteus, but the urinary tract is the most common site. The majority of cases are caused by Proteus mirabilis (P. mirabilis). The bacteria are part of the normal intestinal flora and are also found in the environment. Proteus
  • S: Serratia

Pathophysiology

  • Obstruction of the common bile duct common bile duct The largest bile duct. It is formed by the junction of the cystic duct and the common hepatic duct. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy ( CBD CBD Atypical Parkinsonian Syndromes) → biliary stasis → bacteria Bacteria Bacteria are prokaryotic single-celled microorganisms that are metabolically active and divide by binary fission. Some of these organisms play a significant role in the pathogenesis of diseases. Bacteriology ascend from the duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy bacterial overgrowth Bacterial overgrowth Lactose Intolerance and suppuration → biliary sepsis Sepsis Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock. Sepsis and Septic Shock 
  • Increased intrabiliary pressure caused by obstruction also increases the permeability of bile ductules Bile ductules Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy  → translocation of bacteria Bacteria Bacteria are prokaryotic single-celled microorganisms that are metabolically active and divide by binary fission. Some of these organisms play a significant role in the pathogenesis of diseases. Bacteriology into the biliary tract Biliary tract Bile is secreted by hepatocytes into thin channels called canaliculi. These canaliculi lead into slightly larger interlobular bile ductules, which are part of the portal triads at the “corners” of hepatic lobules. The bile leaves the liver via the right and left hepatic ducts, which join together to form the common hepatic duct. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy
  • Disruption of the sphincter of Oddi can result in a loss of the mechanical barrier Mechanical barrier Innate Immunity: Barriers, Complement, and Cytokines to duodenal reflux → ascension of bacteria Bacteria Bacteria are prokaryotic single-celled microorganisms that are metabolically active and divide by binary fission. Some of these organisms play a significant role in the pathogenesis of diseases. Bacteriology and subsequent infection
  • Procedures such as biliary stenting and endoscopic sphincterotomy Sphincterotomy Surgical incision of a sphincter. Anal Fissure also disrupt the barrier that prevents bacterial entry into the biliary tract Biliary tract Bile is secreted by hepatocytes into thin channels called canaliculi. These canaliculi lead into slightly larger interlobular bile ductules, which are part of the portal triads at the “corners” of hepatic lobules. The bile leaves the liver via the right and left hepatic ducts, which join together to form the common hepatic duct. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy.

Clinical Presentation

  • Charcot’s triad (50%–75% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship will have all 3 features): 
    1. Right upper quadrant Right upper quadrant Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy (RUQ) abdominal pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways 
    2. Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever 
    3. Jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice
  • Reynold’s pentad (signals severe disease): 
    1. RUQ abdominal pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways 
    2. Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever 
    3. Jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice 
    4. Hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension 
    5. Altered mental status Altered Mental Status Sepsis in Children
  • Other signs or symptoms:
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics and vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Abdominal distention Abdominal distention Megacolon
    • Acholic (without bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy) stools
    • Dark urine Urine Liquid by-product of excretion produced in the kidneys, temporarily stored in the bladder until discharge through the urethra. Bowen Disease and Erythroplasia of Queyrat
    • Pruritus Pruritus An intense itching sensation that produces the urge to rub or scratch the skin to obtain relief. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
    • Tachycardia Tachycardia Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a heart rate above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia. Sepsis in Children

Diagnosis

Laboratory tests

  • ↑ WBC count
  • Hepatic function test:
    • Alkaline phosphatase Alkaline Phosphatase An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma ( ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma), bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism, and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase An enzyme, sometimes called ggt, with a key role in the synthesis and degradation of glutathione; (GSH, a tripeptide that protects cells from many toxins). It catalyzes the transfer of the gamma-glutamyl moiety to an acceptor amino acid. Liver Function Tests ( GGT GGT An enzyme, sometimes called ggt, with a key role in the synthesis and degradation of glutathione; (gsh, a tripeptide that protects cells from many toxins). It catalyzes the transfer of the gamma-glutamyl moiety to an acceptor amino acid. Alcoholic Liver Disease) → cholestasis
    • Mild ↑ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests ( aspartate Aspartate One of the non-essential amino acids commonly occurring in the l-form. It is found in animals and plants, especially in sugar cane and sugar beets. It may be a neurotransmitter. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids aminotransferase) and ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests ( alanine Alanine A non-essential amino acid that occurs in high levels in its free state in plasma. It is produced from pyruvate by transamination. It is involved in sugar and acid metabolism, increases immunity, and provides energy for muscle tissue, brain, and the central nervous system. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids aminotransferase)
  • Lipase Lipase An enzyme of the hydrolase class that catalyzes the reaction of triacylglycerol and water to yield diacylglycerol and a fatty acid anion. It is produced by glands on the tongue and by the pancreas and initiates the digestion of dietary fats. Malabsorption and Maldigestion → rule out concurrent pancreatitis Pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of chronic pancreatitis. The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are alcoholic pancreatitis and gallstone pancreatitis. Acute Pancreatitis
  • Blood cultures Cultures Klebsiella → potentially isolate the causative organism

Imaging

Note: If the patient is hemodynamically unstable and has clinical evidence of acute cholangitis, this imaging workup will be skipped. The patient should proceed directly to biliary decompression.

  • Abdominal ultrasound (US): 
    • Possible findings: 
      • Biliary duct dilation (most common finding) 
      • Gallstones Gallstones Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis
    • A normal US does not rule out acute cholangitis.
  • Computed tomography (CT):
    • Performed if ultrasound is unremarkable
    • Possible findings: 
      • Dilated intrahepatic and extrahepatic ducts 
      • Inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the biliary tree Biliary tree The bile ducts and the gallbladder. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy 
      • Malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
      • Abscesses 
    • Gallstones Gallstones Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis are poorly visualized.
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography Non-invasive diagnostic technique for visualizing the pancreatic ducts and bile ducts without the use of injected contrast media or x-ray. Mri scans provide excellent sensitivity for duct dilatation, biliary stricture, and intraductal abnormalities. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis ( MRCP MRCP Non-invasive diagnostic technique for visualizing the pancreatic ducts and bile ducts without the use of injected contrast media or x-ray. Mri scans provide excellent sensitivity for duct dilatation, biliary stricture, and intraductal abnormalities. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis):
  • Biliary scintigraphy Scintigraphy Sjögren’s Syndrome (hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA)):
    • Detects biliary obstruction
    • Takes time, therefore not recommended for critical or unstable patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of Vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (Vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis ( ERCP ERCP Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis):
    • Diagnostic and therapeutic
    • May skip the above imaging and proceed directly to ERCP ERCP Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with Charcot’s triad and elevated liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy tests
Gallbladder wall thickening acute cholangitis

Acute cholangitis: Abdominal ultrasound showing gallbladder Gallbladder The gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac, located directly beneath the liver, that sits on top of the superior part of the duodenum. The primary functions of the gallbladder include concentrating and storing up to 50 mL of bile. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy wall thickening, pericholecystic fluid Pericholecystic Fluid Imaging of the Liver and Biliary Tract and cholelithiasis Cholelithiasis Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis (a). The common bile duct common bile duct The largest bile duct. It is formed by the junction of the cystic duct and the common hepatic duct. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy is dilated (b).

Image: “Abdominal ultrasound” by Serviço de Gastrenterologia e Hepatologia, Hospital de Santa Maria, Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte, Avenida Professor Egas Moniz, Lisboa, 1649-035, Portugal. License: CC BY 4.0

Management

  • Assess the patient’s vital signs to determine whether emergent biliary drainage is required (see algorithm below).
  • Supportive therapy:
    • Intravenous fluid resuscitation Resuscitation The restoration to life or consciousness of one apparently dead. . Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome
    • Electrolyte correction
    • Close vital sign monitoring
    • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways control
    • Vasopressors Vasopressors Sepsis in Children for septic shock Septic shock Sepsis associated with hypotension or hypoperfusion despite adequate fluid resuscitation. Perfusion abnormalities may include, but are not limited to lactic acidosis; oliguria; or acute alteration in mental status. Sepsis and Septic Shock
    • Intensive care unit admission for individuals in a critical state
  • Antibiotic coverage for gram negatives and anaerobes Anaerobes Lincosamides:
    • Ciprofloxacin Ciprofloxacin A broad-spectrum antimicrobial carboxyfluoroquinoline. Fluoroquinolones or levofloxacin Levofloxacin The l-isomer of ofloxacin. Fluoroquinolones plus metronidazole Metronidazole A nitroimidazole used to treat amebiasis; vaginitis; trichomonas infections; giardiasis; anaerobic bacteria; and treponemal infections. Pyogenic Liver Abscess
    • 3rd- or 4th-generation cephalosporins Cephalosporins Cephalosporins are a group of bactericidal beta-lactam antibiotics (similar to penicillins) that exert their effects by preventing bacteria from producing their cell walls, ultimately leading to cell death. Cephalosporins are categorized by generation and all drug names begin with “cef-” or “ceph-.” Cephalosporins plus metronidazole Metronidazole A nitroimidazole used to treat amebiasis; vaginitis; trichomonas infections; giardiasis; anaerobic bacteria; and treponemal infections. Pyogenic Liver Abscess
    • Piperacillin-tazobactam Piperacillin-Tazobactam Multidrug-resistant Organisms and Nosocomial Infections
    • Ertapenem Ertapenem A carbapenem derivative antibacterial agent that is more stable to renal dehydropeptidase I than imipenem, but does not need to be given with an enzyme inhibitor such as cilastatin. It is used in the treatment of gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial infections including intra-abdominal infections, acute gynecological infections, complicated urinary tract infections, skin infections, and respiratory tract infections. It is also used to prevent infection in colorectal surgery. Carbapenems and Aztreonam
  • Biliary decompression:
    • ERCP ERCP Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis 
      • With sphincterotomy Sphincterotomy Surgical incision of a sphincter. Anal Fissure and stone extraction
      • Usually the treatment of choice
    • Endoscopic ultrasound-guided cholangiopancreatography with biliary drainage and stent placement:
      • Alternative to ERCP ERCP Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (e.g., obstructing tumors)
    • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTC) with catheter drainage 
      • Requires a dilated biliary system
      • Involves transhepatic insertion of a needle into the bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy duct, allowing drainage and stone extraction
      • Performed if ERCP ERCP Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis is not available or unsuccessful
    • Surgery
      • Reserved for patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship who fail the above interventions
      • Cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed with the goal of resecting and extracting the gallbladder. It is one of the most common abdominal surgeries performed in the Western world. Cholecystectomy is performed for symptomatic cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, gallbladder polyps > 0.5 cm, porcelain gallbladder, choledocholithiasis and gallstone pancreatitis, and rarely, for gallbladder cancer. Cholecystectomy can usually be performed at the same time.
  • All patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with gallstones Gallstones Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis should also be evaluated for cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed with the goal of resecting and extracting the gallbladder. It is one of the most common abdominal surgeries performed in the Western world. Cholecystectomy is performed for symptomatic cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, gallbladder polyps > 0.5 cm, porcelain gallbladder, choledocholithiasis and gallstone pancreatitis, and rarely, for gallbladder cancer. Cholecystectomy to prevent recurrence.
Acute cholangitis options

A simplified management algorithm for acute cholangitis based on the hemodynamic stability of the patient: Definitive treatment requires source control Source Control Surgical Infections with biliary drainage. Therefore, this treatment is performed emergently in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship who are hemodynamically unstable.

Image by Lecturio.

Complications and Prognosis

Complications

  • Septic shock Septic shock Sepsis associated with hypotension or hypoperfusion despite adequate fluid resuscitation. Perfusion abnormalities may include, but are not limited to lactic acidosis; oliguria; or acute alteration in mental status. Sepsis and Septic Shock
  • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease or microabscesses
  • Acute renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome
  • Liver failure Liver failure Severe inability of the liver to perform its normal metabolic functions, as evidenced by severe jaundice and abnormal serum levels of ammonia; bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenases; and albumin/globulin ratio. Autoimmune Hepatitis
  • Procedure complications
    • Bleeding
    • Fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula formation
    • Bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy leak

Prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

  • May be life-threatening, especially in the elderly or immunocompromised immunocompromised A human or animal whose immunologic mechanism is deficient because of an immunodeficiency disorder or other disease or as the result of the administration of immunosuppressive drugs or radiation. Gastroenteritis
  • Mortality rate Mortality rate Calculated as the ratio of the total number of people who die due to all causes over a specific time period to the total number of people in the selected population. Measures of Health Status
    • Approximately 11% overall
    • 20%–30% in severe disease
  • Depends on:
    • Early recognition and diagnosis
    • Response to treatment
    • Patient comorbidities Comorbidities The presence of co-existing or additional diseases with reference to an initial diagnosis or with reference to the index condition that is the subject of study. Comorbidity may affect the ability of affected individuals to function and also their survival; it may be used as a prognostic indicator for length of hospital stay, cost factors, and outcome or survival. St. Louis Encephalitis Virus
  • Higher morbidity Morbidity The proportion of patients with a particular disease during a given year per given unit of population. Measures of Health Status and mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status seen with:
    • Women
    • Age > 50 years
    • Cirrhosis Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is a late stage of hepatic parenchymal necrosis and scarring (fibrosis) most commonly due to hepatitis C infection and alcoholic liver disease. Patients may present with jaundice, ascites, and hepatosplenomegaly. Cirrhosis can also cause complications such as hepatic encephalopathy, portal hypertension, portal vein thrombosis, and hepatorenal syndrome. Cirrhosis
    • Failure to respond to antibiotics
    • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
    • Acute renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome

Differential Diagnosis

The following table outlines common biliary diagnoses and how they may be differentiated from acute cholangitis:

Condition Pathology Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor Diagnosis Management
Cholelithiasis Cholelithiasis Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis Presence of gallstones Gallstones Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis in the gallbladder Gallbladder The gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac, located directly beneath the liver, that sits on top of the superior part of the duodenum. The primary functions of the gallbladder include concentrating and storing up to 50 mL of bile. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy Asymptomatic or biliary colic (constant, dull RUQ pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways lasting < 6 hours)
  • US
  • Normal blood tests
  • None, if asymptomatic
  • Cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed with the goal of resecting and extracting the gallbladder. It is one of the most common abdominal surgeries performed in the Western world. Cholecystectomy is performed for symptomatic cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, gallbladder polyps > 0.5 cm, porcelain gallbladder, choledocholithiasis and gallstone pancreatitis, and rarely, for gallbladder cancer. Cholecystectomy if symptomatic
Cholecystitis Cholecystitis Cholecystitis is the inflammation of the gallbladder (GB) usually caused by the obstruction of the cystic duct (acute cholecystitis). Mechanical irritation by gallstones can also produce chronic GB inflammation. Cholecystitis is one of the most common complications of cholelithiasis but inflammation without gallstones can occur in a minority of patients. Cholecystitis Cystic Cystic Fibrocystic Change duct obstruction with inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the gallbladder Gallbladder The gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac, located directly beneath the liver, that sits on top of the superior part of the duodenum. The primary functions of the gallbladder include concentrating and storing up to 50 mL of bile. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy Constant RUQ pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways (> 6 hours), fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics and vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, Murphy’s sign
  • US
  • HIDA (if US is equivocal)
  • Blood tests: ↑ WBC
  • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy tests may be normal or mild ↑
  • Urgent cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed with the goal of resecting and extracting the gallbladder. It is one of the most common abdominal surgeries performed in the Western world. Cholecystectomy is performed for symptomatic cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, gallbladder polyps > 0.5 cm, porcelain gallbladder, choledocholithiasis and gallstone pancreatitis, and rarely, for gallbladder cancer. Cholecystectomy
  • Antibiotics
Choledocholithiasis Choledocholithiasis Presence or formation of gallstones in the common bile duct. Cholelithiasis CBD CBD Atypical Parkinsonian Syndromes obstruction due to a stone Postprandial colicky RUQ pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways > 6 h, jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice
  • US
  • MRCP MRCP Non-invasive diagnostic technique for visualizing the pancreatic ducts and bile ducts without the use of injected contrast media or x-ray. Mri scans provide excellent sensitivity for duct dilatation, biliary stricture, and intraductal abnormalities. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (if US is equivocal)
  • Blood tests: ↑ ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests, ↑ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests, ↑ ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma, ↑ bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism
ERCP ERCP Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed with the goal of resecting and extracting the gallbladder. It is one of the most common abdominal surgeries performed in the Western world. Cholecystectomy is performed for symptomatic cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, gallbladder polyps > 0.5 cm, porcelain gallbladder, choledocholithiasis and gallstone pancreatitis, and rarely, for gallbladder cancer. Cholecystectomy
Acute cholangitis Bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy duct infection RUQ pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice, hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension, tachycardia Tachycardia Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a heart rate above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia. Sepsis in Children
  • US
  • ERCP ERCP Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
  • Blood tests: ↑ ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests, ↑ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests, ↑ ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma, ↑ bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism, ↑ WBC
  • ERCP ERCP Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed with the goal of resecting and extracting the gallbladder. It is one of the most common abdominal surgeries performed in the Western world. Cholecystectomy is performed for symptomatic cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, gallbladder polyps > 0.5 cm, porcelain gallbladder, choledocholithiasis and gallstone pancreatitis, and rarely, for gallbladder cancer. Cholecystectomy
  • Antibiotics
  • Sepsis Sepsis Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock. Sepsis and Septic Shock management

Other potential diagnoses to consider:

  • Acute appendicitis Appendicitis Appendicitis is the acute inflammation of the vermiform appendix and the most common abdominal surgical emergency globally. The condition has a lifetime risk of 8%. Characteristic features include periumbilical abdominal pain that migrates to the right lower quadrant, fever, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting. Appendicitis: an infection of the appendix Appendix A worm-like blind tube extension from the cecum. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship present with right lower quadrant Right lower quadrant Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy or periumbilical pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, guarding, and tenderness at Mcburney’s point. Diagnosis is based on history and exam, and is supplemented by imaging showing appendiceal thickening and fat stranding. The location of pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways and imaging differentiate this condition from acute cholangitis. Treatment involves antibiotics and surgical removal of the appendix Appendix A worm-like blind tube extension from the cecum. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy
  • Acute pancreatitis Acute pancreatitis Acute pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease of the pancreas due to autodigestion. Common etiologies include gallstones and excessive alcohol use. Patients typically present with epigastric pain radiating to the back. Acute Pancreatitis: inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship present with a sudden onset of severe epigastric pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways that is typically sharp and radiates to the back. Acute pancreatitis Acute pancreatitis Acute pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease of the pancreas due to autodigestion. Common etiologies include gallstones and excessive alcohol use. Patients typically present with epigastric pain radiating to the back. Acute Pancreatitis is associated with alcohol abuse and gallstones Gallstones Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis. Characteristic abdominal pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, lipase Lipase An enzyme of the hydrolase class that catalyzes the reaction of triacylglycerol and water to yield diacylglycerol and a fatty acid anion. It is produced by glands on the tongue and by the pancreas and initiates the digestion of dietary fats. Malabsorption and Maldigestion elevation, or imaging revealing pancreatic edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema will give the diagnosis and differentiate the condition from acute cholangitis. Treatment includes bowel rest, pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways control, and intravenous fluid hydration.
  • Nephrolithiasis Nephrolithiasis Nephrolithiasis is the formation of a stone, or calculus, anywhere along the urinary tract caused by precipitations of solutes in the urine. The most common type of kidney stone is the calcium oxalate stone, but other types include calcium phosphate, struvite (ammonium magnesium phosphate), uric acid, and cystine stones. Nephrolithiasis: also known as kidney stones Kidney stones Nephrolithiasis is the formation of a stone, or calculus, anywhere along the urinary tract caused by precipitations of solutes in the urine. The most common type of kidney stone is the calcium oxalate stone, but other types include calcium phosphate, struvite (ammonium magnesium phosphate), uric acid, and cystine stones. Nephrolithiasis, which can irritate or obstruct the ureters Ureters One of a pair of thick-walled tubes that transports urine from the kidney pelvis to the urinary bladder. Urinary Tract: Anatomy. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship present with sudden onset of severe, colicky flank pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways; nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics; vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia; and hematuria Hematuria Presence of blood in the urine. Renal Cell Carcinoma. Imaging will show stones in the kidney, ureter, or bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess. The history, exam, and imaging will differentiate this condition from acute cholangitis. Nephrolithiasis Nephrolithiasis Nephrolithiasis is the formation of a stone, or calculus, anywhere along the urinary tract caused by precipitations of solutes in the urine. The most common type of kidney stone is the calcium oxalate stone, but other types include calcium phosphate, struvite (ammonium magnesium phosphate), uric acid, and cystine stones. Nephrolithiasis can be treated with supportive care, pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways control, ureteral stents, lithotripsy, or surgery. 
  • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease: an abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease located in the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy, usually due to a bacterial infection. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship will present with fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, RUQ abdominal pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, and jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice. Abdominal exam may reveal guarding and rebound tenderness Rebound Tenderness Acute Abdomen. Laboratory tests will show leukocytosis Leukocytosis A transient increase in the number of leukocytes in a body fluid. West Nile Virus and increased liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes. Ultrasound or CT will reveal the diagnosis and differentiate this condition from acute cholangitis. Antibiotics are given, and the abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease needs to be drained with CT guidance, ERCP ERCP Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, or surgery.

References

  1. Zakko, S. (2019). Acute cholangitis: Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management. In Chopra, S and Grover, S (Eds.), UpToDate. Retrieved November 5, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/acute-cholangitis-clinical-manifestations-diagnosis-and-management
  2. Scott, T.M., Rosh, A.J. (2017). Acute cholangitis. In Brenner, B.E. (Ed.), Medscape. Retrieved November 10, 2020, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/774245-overview
  3. Lindenmeyer, C.C. (2020). Choledocholithiasis and cholangitis.[online]. MSD Manual Professional Edition. Retrieved November 10, 2020, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/hepatic-and-biliary-disorders/gallbladder-and-bile-duct-disorders/choledocholithiasis-and-cholangitis

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