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Acute cholecystitis

  • Alternative Names

    Cholecystitis - acute


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

    • Be sharp, cramping, or dull
    • Come and go
    • Spread to the back or below the right shoulder blade
    • Occur within minutes of a meal

    Other symptoms that may occur include:

    • Abdominal fullness
    • Clay-colored stools
    • Fever
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)

    Signs and tests

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

    Your doctor may order the following blood tests:

    • Amylase and lipase
    • Bilirubin
    • Complete blood count ( CBC) -- may show a higher than normal white blood cell count
    • Liver function tests

    Imaging tests that can show gallstones or inflammation include:

    • Abdominal ultrasound
    • Abdominal CT scan
    • Abdominal x-ray
    • Oral cholecystogram
    • Gallbladder radionuclide scan