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HPB Surgery
Volume 3 (1991), Issue 3, Pages 167-176

Percutaneous Aspiration, Lavage and Antibiotic Instillation. New Approach in the Management of Acute Calculous Cholecystitis

1University Department of Surgery at the Medical City in Baghdad, Iraq
2The Department of Surgery, Ward 6, Stobhill General Hospital, Glasgow G21 3UW, UK

Received 5 March 1990; Accepted 7 May 1990

Copyright © 1991 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.


Distension of the gallbladder and bacterial infection can perpetuate an attack of acute calculous cholecystitis and produce its local and systemic complications. This prospective randomized trial was conducted on patients with their first episode of acute calculous cholecystitis which was associated with pyrexia and tachycardia to examine whether ultrasound guided percutaneous aspiration and lavage of the gallbladder followed by intra-lumenal instillation of 500 mg ampicillin (PALA) enhanced recovery from cholecystitis. Twenty patients were randomized to receive 500 mg of ampicillin every 6 hours for 5 days and another 20 patients were randomized to receive this treatment in addition to PALA within 12 hours of admission. Twenty four hours after admission to hospital, all the patients treated with PALA were apyrexial and had no residual right hypochondrial tenderness or guarding, a result superior (p < 0.001) to that of the group without PALA where at least 75% of patients were still showing these signs. Two days after admission the WBC count of the PALA group was significantly (p < 0.05) lower than that of the other group (6.32 ± 0.1 × 109/L vs 10.31 ± 0.4 × 109/L, mean ± SEM, n = 20). Four days after admission, all members of the PALA group were comfortably tolerating solid food for the previous 24 hours and were, therefore, discharged home whereas all members of the other group were still in hospital and 85% of them were discharged home after hospitalization for 6 to 7 days. Three members (15%) of this group deteriorated and underwent emergency surgery.

The results show that addition of PALA to the conventional non-operative treatment of acute cholecystitis enhances recovery and avoids the complications necessitating emergency surgery.