Acute cholecystitis

Alternative Names

Cholecystitis – acute

Definition of Acute cholecystitis

Acute cholecystitis is a sudden inflammation of the gallbladder that causes severe .

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

In 90% of cases, acute cholecystitis is caused by in the gallbladder. Severe illness and, rarely, tumors of the gallbladder may also cause cholecystitis.


The main symptom is abdominal pain that is located on the upper right side or upper middle of the abdomen. The pain may:

Signs and tests

A physical exam will show that your abdomen is tender to the touch.


Seek immediate medical attention for severe abdominal pain.

Expectations (prognosis)

Patients who have surgery to remove the gallbladder usually do very well.


George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 7/6/2009

Digestive system
Cholecystitis, CT scan
Cholecystitis, cholangiogram
Gallstones, cholangiogram
Digestive system organs
Gallbladder removal - series

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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