Discussion Author: Tom Hash
Gallbladder hydrops refers to gallbladder distention by sterile bile. The underlying cause is usually chronic, complete cystic duct obstruction. In children, hydrops can occur acutely secondary to cystic duct inflammation and obstruction. In children, the classic cause of hydropic gallbladder is Kawasaki disease (mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome). Many other etiologies or associations include sepsis, total parenteral nutrition, scarlet fever, leptospirosis, typhoid, ascariasis, and familial Mediterranean fever.
A hydropic gallbladder can occasionally be detected on plain radiographs as displacing and/or indenting the duodenum inferomedially or impressing on the hepatic flexure. Sonography reveals marked gallbladder dilatation. Gallbladder wall thickness is typically normal. Biliary sludge can be seen.
Gallbladder hydrops typically resolves with conservative therapy. There have been case reports of gallbladder perforation.
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