Worsening of Acute Cholangitis Caused by a Bile Duct Stone After Hospitalization: A Case Series

Tetsuro Akashi, Yuichi Tachibana, Susumu Matsuo, Junya Gibo


Acute cholangitis is a fatal condition if inadequately treated. It is possible to underestimate the severity of the condition because bacterial cultures are not immediately available. We evaluated the clinical features of patients with cholangitis due to bile duct stones who were diagnosed with severe bacteremia at the time of hospitalization, but not at the time of the initial visit. We conducted a retrospective analysis of cases of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography performed between January 2007 and October 2011 in patients with bile duct stones complicated by cholangitis. The severity of cholangitis was assessed based on the 2005 Japanese Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines for the Management of Acute Cholangitis and Cholecystitis (JG05). Of 130 cases, 23 were diagnosed as severe cholangitis, including 11 of bacterial cause. However, based on the JG05, two cases were classified as “mild” at initial assessment and nine cases as “moderate”. A history of endoscopic sphincterotomy (EST) was identified in the two cases classified as “mild” cholangitis. Obstruction by a bile duct stone, possibly due to reflux from the duodenum, can lead to rapid progression to sepsis in a short time. For patients with a history of EST, early biliary drainage is necessary to prevent rapid progression of bacterial cholangitis.

Gastroenterol Res. 2018;11(1):58-61
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/gr930w


Cholangitis; Bile duct stone; Bacteremia; Endoscopic biliary drainage; Patient acuity

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