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Cholecystitis

Abstract

You are reading a NORD Rare Disease Report Abstract. NORD’s full collection of reports on over 1200 rare diseases is available to subscribers (click here for details). We are now also offering two full rare disease reports per day to visitors on our Web site.

NORD is very grateful to Diana L. Heiman, MD, Associate Residency Director, Associate Sports Medicine Fellowship Director, University of Connecticut/St. Francis Family Medicine Residency Program, Team Physician Connecticut Sun, Team Physician Hartford Public Schools, for assistance in the preparation of this report.

Synonyms of Cholecystitis

  • acalculous cholecystitis
  • calculous cholecystitis

Disorder Subdivisions

  • No subdivisions found.

General Discussion

Cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder, the pear-shaped muscular sac the lies below the liver. The gallbladder's main function is to store and concentrate bile and to expel bile through the bile duct into the intestine to assist with the digestion of fats. Bile is a greenish-brown liquid produced by the liver that helps to break down fats present in the small intestine during digestion. Cholecystitis may come on suddenly (acute) or may persist over a period of time (chronic).

Acute cholecystitis is usually caused by obstruction of the outlet of the gallbladder, which is often due to the development of a stone formed in the biliary tract (gallstone or biliary calculus). Repeated mild episodes of acute cholecystitis may result in chronic cholecystitis, which may be characterized by thickening and shrinking of the gallbladder walls and a resulting inability to store bile. Cholecystitis may cause a variety of symptoms including severe pain in the right side of the abdomen (right upper quadrant) and/or back, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, fever, and persistent yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes, and whites of the eyes (jaundice). In some cases, there may be additional symptoms.

Cholecystitis Resources

Organizations:

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