Acute cholecystitis is the swelling of the gallbladder which is the organ below the liver that helps the body to digest fat. Cholecystitis can be very severe which may need immediate medical attention. If this condition tends to persist for a long period or the person may face repeated attacks, it is known as chronic cholecystitis.
The most common cause of acute cholecystitis is gallstones which according to the British Medical Journal are 90% responsible for this condition. The gallstones tend to block the bile ducts, wherein the bile gets build up in the gallbladder causing the inflammation. Besides this, acute cholecystitis could also be the reason of severe illness or tumour though these causes could be rare.
Women tend to suffer from gallstones, two to three times more often than men and have a higher risk of developing acute cholecystitis. The main symptoms of acute cholecystitis is sudden pain in right area of the stomach – abdomen which tends to spread towards the right shoulder and the affected area of the abdomen is very tender where taking deep breaths could be very painful.The pain connected with acute cholecystitis unlike any kind of abdominal pain tends to be persistent which does not go away after a few hours
Some may experience additional symptoms like a high fever or temperature, sweating, nausea and vomiting, yellowing of the skin as well as the white area of the eyes, loss of appetite, and a bulge in the abdomen.
The symptoms of acute cholecystitis could be like any other illness and to diagnose the illness, the doctor should know the medical history together with the symptoms by checking the abdomen for swelling or tender areas or some additional tests like - Abdominal ultrasound of sound waves is used to create an image of the organ, cholangiography is used for dye injection in the bile ducts to indicate the gallbladder as well as the bile ducts on x-ray, hepatobiliary scintigraphy, a process which tends to create an image of the upper area of the small intestine, liver, gallbladder and the bile duct and CT scan which provide computerized images of the internal organs.
If the person is diagnosed with acute cholecystitis, they make have to undergo blood tests to identify other problems if any.
Cause of acute cholecystitis is grouped in two sections, namely calculous cholecystitis and acalculous cholecystitis. In the case of calculous cholecystitis, which is the most common and less serious type, develops when the main opening of the gallbladder known as the cystic duct tends to get block by gallstone or substance known as biliary sludge with small crystals of cholesterol and salt.
This blockage in the cystic duct collects in the gallbladder putting pressure inside it causing it get inflamed. In few cases, the inflamed gallbladder may get infected by bacteria.Acalculous cholecystitis is a less common type though more serious which usually develops as a complication from a serious illness, infection or an injury which could damage the gallbladder.
It is often connected with problems like accidental damage to the gallbladder at the time of major surgery, or serious injuries, blood poisoning, burns, severe malnutrition or AIDS. The treatment is recommended by the physician based on the symptoms, though most of the time it goes away on its own.