American Journal of Gastroenterology vol:85 issue:10 pages:1363-9
We report our experience with percutaneous transhepatic cholecystostomy in 10 elderly patients with acute cholecystitis, complicated by empyema formation. Most of these patients has severe underlying disease, rendering them at high risk for surgical intervention. In all patients, the percutaneous procedure was followed by a rapid regression of clinical symptoms and of radiologic abnormalities. Six were considered inoperable. Three of these remain free of biliary symptoms, respectively 22, 10, and 7 months after percutaneous cholecystostomy. Three others died of nonbiliary disease 1-4 months after cholecystostomy. Three patients underwent successful elective cholecystostomy 1-5 wk after percutaneous cholecystostomy. In one patient, cholecystectomy had to be performed because of recurrence of hydrops, 1 wk after catheter removal. In our opinion, percutaneous transhepatic cholecystostomy is a safe and effective procedure in the treatment of elderly patients with acute complicated cholecystitis. It can be followed by elective cholecystectomy in good surgical candidates, or by an expectant conservative management in high surgical risk patients.