Emergency Department Diagnosis of Postprocedural Hemorrhagic Cholecystitis Utilizing Point-of-Care Ultrasound

Garrett A. Cavaliere, Christine Kositz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hemorrhagic cholecystitis is a rare cause of abdominal pain. Most often described in the setting of blunt abdominal trauma, anticoagulation use, coagulopathy (such as cirrhosis or renal failure), and malignancy (biliary angiosarcoma), this rare condition can be difficult to identify unless high on the differential. With point-of-care ultrasound becoming more commonplace in the emergency department (ED), this tool can be successfully used to make a timely diagnosis in the correct clinical context. Case Report: A 64-year-old man with a past medical history of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation status post ablation on rivaroxaban, myelodysplastic syndrome, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, clonal cytopenias of undetermined significance, hypertension, and chronic pain presented to the ED with complaints of right upper quadrant pain in the setting of a recent transjugular liver biopsy. Using point-of-care ultrasound, the patient was diagnosed with hemorrhagic cholecystitis. This is an incredibly rare entity, with 87 documented cases in the literature, only two of which are in the setting of transjugular liver biopsy. The patient was ultimately managed conservatively until he had worsening symptoms, and a laparoscopic cholecystectomy was performed. The patient tolerated the procedure well and recovered. Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?: Hemorrhagic cholecystitis is a rare pathology that can be easily recognized during point-of-care ultrasound examination. This allows for rapid diagnosis and surgical consultation to provide the patient with timely definitive management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e69-e77
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine

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