Gangrenous cholecystitis (GC): Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Gangrenous cholecystitis (GC) is a severe complication of gallstones (also known as cholelithiasis). Gallstones block bile ducts (the tubes lead out of gallbladder) and lead to a bile buildup. This can cause inflammation of the gallbladder.

Cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder. Gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, beneath your liver.

GC, an uncommon form of cholecystitis, refers to the necrosis and perforation of the gallbladder wall that caused by ischemia following progressive vascular insufficiency.

According to some reports, GC carries a higher mortality rate than cholecystitis which is 15% to 50%.


Symptoms of GC may include:

  • Severe pain in upper right or center abdomen
  • Pain spreads to right shoulder or back
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

What need take care is some symptoms usually occur after a meal, especially a large or oiled one.
In some cases, because of the necrosis of the gallbladder wall, some patients may not feel right upper quadrant tenderness during palpation on the gallbladder.


GC is more likely to occur in older patients, especially in men.

Many factors can increase the possibility of GC, may include:

  • leukocytosis
  • cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)
  • diabetes mellitus (DM)


Patients with symptoms need go to hospital as soon as symptoms occur for further inspections. Those whose conditions are worse need take a surgery, such as prompt open cholecystectomy or laparoscopic cholecystectomy.


You can reduce your risk of GC by taking the following steps to prevent gallstones:

  • Lose weight slowly
    Rapid weight loss can increase the risk of gallstones.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
    Being overweight makes you more likely to have gallstones. Reduce calories and increase physical activities.
  • Eat healthy
    Foods that high in fat and low in fiber may increase the risk of gallstones. You can choose a diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Consult your doctors for more details for your treatments.

Keywords: gangrenous cholecystitis; GC; gallstones; cholelithiasis; gallbladder.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.