The bile ducts transport bile from the liver to the gall bladder and to the intestinal tract. Inflammation, usually due to infection, leads to acute infections of the gallbladder (cholecystitis) or the ducts (cholangitis). This disease is seen more in women and may be confused with hepatitis, pancreatitis or duodenal ulcer. Rarely occurs in children or adolescents.
Causes of Cholecystitis Or Cholangitis
Infections of the bile ducts and gallbladder usually occur from blockage of the bile ducts, most commonly from gallstones. This can lead to bacterial infections from the bile ducts, eventually spreading to the gallbladder. Other forms of obstruction, such as ones caused by cancer, can also lead to acute infections. with resulting inflammation or bacterial infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Cholecystitis Or Cholangitis
Cholecystitis and Cholangitis produce pain and tenderness, usually in the right upper or mid-upper abdomen. There may be lower chest pain. The pain may be felt in the right shoulder, due to irritation of the diaphragm. Nausea and vomiting are common, belching is frequent. High fevers and chills occur readily. If the bile pathways become obstructed, there may be jaundice - yellowing of the skin and eyes. Pale colored stool and itching may also occur.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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