Select a Community
Are you sure you want to trigger topic in your Anconeus AI algorithm?
CT abdomen pelvis with contrast
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography
Select Answer to see Preferred Response
This patient with fever, jaundice, and right upper quadrant pain likely has developed ascending cholangitis. After fluid resuscitation and initiation of broad spectrum antibiotics, the most appropriate next step in management is endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Ascending cholangitis occurs due to obstruction of the common bile duct, most commonly secondary to cholelithiasis. As the duct becomes obstructed and is unable to drain, infection develops and travels up the common bile duct to the gallbladder and liver. Classically, patients present with right upper quadrant abdominal pain, fever, jaundice, altered mental status, and hypotension (Reynold pentad). Patients will typically have a profound leukocytosis, an elevated direct bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase, and mildly elevated liver enzymes. Ultrasound of the abdomen will demonstrate biliary dilation and gallbladder thickening. The best initial step in management is IV fluids, antibiotics, and emergency decompression of the common bile duct with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). An. et al review acute cholangitis. They discuss pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and strategies for management. They recommend that patients with suspected acute cholangitis undergo ERCP.Incorrect Answers:Answer 1: Emergency cholecystectomy would be indicated for emphysematous cholecystitis, which may present similarly. This patient's imaging demonstrating a dilated common bile duct suggests ascending cholangitis, which is treated with ERCP. Cholecystectomy would eventually be indicated.Answer 1: CT abdomen pelvis with contrast is generally less sensitive for biliary pathology than ultrasound imaging. In addition, this patient's clinical presentation, lab, and imaging findings suggest the diagnosis of ascending cholangitis. The addition of CT imaging is not likely to be beneficial and would delay definitive management.Answer 4: Exploratory laparotomy would be indicated if a perforated viscus or peritonitis was suspected. While this patient is critically ill, her exam findings do not suggest peritonitis. Ascending cholangitis is not managed with exploratory laparotomy.Answer 5: Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography is used to better characterize pathology affecting the pancreas and biliary tree. This patient is critically ill secondary to ascending cholangitis, warranting immediate intervention with ERCP (which would be delayed if MRCP was obtained). Bullet Summary:Ascending cholangitis is managed with ultrasound, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and emergent decompression of the biliary tree via endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.
Please Login to add comment