Gallbladder volvulus

Gallbladder volvulus is a relatively rare condition in which there is a rotation of the gallbladder around the axis of the cystic duct and artery.

Symptoms are non-specific, however right upper quadrant pain and vomiting are similar to biliary colic. Laboratory evaluations are often non-specific. If there is fever or leukocytosis, then acute cholecystitis may have developed.

It has been observed on patients with significant weight loss, in which there is loss of pericholecystic fat. 

Complications are related to torsion with vascular compromise and resultant gallbladder ischemia. In this condition both gangrenous change and perforation may occur. 

  • large floating gallbladder
  • wall thickening
  • gallbladder outside the normal anatomical fossa
  • massively distended gallbladder
  • pericholecystic fluid 
  • gallbladder outside the normal anatomical fossa
  • loss of enhancement
  • abrupt tapering of cystic duct

Cholecystectomy is the preferred treatment.

Article information

rID: 26212
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Gallbladder torsion
  • Gallbladder volvulus
  • Volvulus of gallbladder
  • Torsion of the gallbladder

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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