Table of Contents
HPB Surgery
Volume 2, Issue 3, Pages 177-183

Acute Biliary Septic Shock

Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, No. 160, Sec. 3, Chungkang Rd., Taichung 40705, Taiwan

Received 11 September 1989

Copyright © 1990 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Forty-seven cases of biliary tract infection with septic shock are presented. The sepsis was caused by empyema of the gallbladder in 23 cases and by cholangitis in the remainder. Gallstones were most frequently the cause of the sepsis. An appropriate diagnostic description of the syndrome of biliary tract infection and septic shock should therefore include a description of the underlying biliary disease as well as the term acute biliary shock. In this series, emergency surgical management by removal of gallstones and drainage of suppuration was felt to be the most appropriate treatment. There was a high incidence of gallbladder rupture (10.6%) and intrahepatic stones (53.2%). Of the 13 patients who died, 8 might have survived if early operation had been performed after the diagnosis of acute biliary septic shock was established.