Acute Acalculous Cholecystitis-Associated Bacteremia Has Worse Outcome

Javier E. Rincon, Rohit K. Rasane, Jose A. Aldana, Christina X. Zhang, Ricardo A. Fonseca, Qiao Zhang, Kelly M. Bochicchio, Obeid N. Ilahi, Grant V. Bochicchio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Acute acalculous cholecystitis (AAC) is an inflammation of the gallbladder without gallstones in the setting of critical illness. It represents 2%-15% of acute cholecystitis (AC) cases. Bacteremia is associated with increased morbidity and mortality rates in patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). The incidence of bacteremia in acute calculous cholecystitis (ACC) has been described; however, the incidence of bacteremia in AAC has not been reported. We hypothesized that patients with AAC have higher bacteremia rates, leading to worse outcomes than in those with ACC. Methods: A prospectively collected acute care surgery (ACS) institutional database of patients treated from 2008 through 2018 was queried for patients having ACC using International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 9 and 10 codes. Demographics, microbiology findings, and outcomes were extracted. Only patients with positive blood cultures were included in the study. We defined two cohorts: AAC with bacteremia and ACC with bacteremia. The Student t-test was used for continuous variables and the χ2 and Fisher exact tests for categorical variables. Multivariable regression was applied, and statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. Results: Of 323 patients with AC, 57 (17.6%) had AAC and 266 (82.4%) had ACC. Of the 19 patients who had a blood culture, 11 (57.8%) were positive. Patients with positive blood cultures had a mean age of 56.7 ± 15.3 years and a mean Body Mass Index (BMI) of 26.7 ± 4.9. The incidence of bacteremia was significantly higher in AAC (n = 6; 10.5% versus n = 5; 1.9 %; p = 0.005), although the time between admission and diagnosis of bacteremia was similar in the two groups (1.2 ± 1.1 versus 0.2 ± 0.5 days; p = 0.128). The patients with AAC and bacteremia were younger (53.8 ± 19.2 versus 60.2 ± 8 years; p = 0.021) and had a longer ICU length of stay (LOS) (12.6 ± 7.2 versus 1.3 ± 2.1 days; p = 0.030). However, there was no difference in the mortality rate in the groups (n = 2; 33.3% versus 1; 20.0%; p = 1.000). After adjusting for age, gender, BMI, and Charlson Comorbidity Index, bacteremia in AAC patients was found to be an independent variable for longer ICU LOS (odds ratio 8.8; 95% confidence interval 1.7-15.9; p = 0.024). Conclusions: The incidence of bacteremia in patients with AAC is five-fold higher and the ICU stay eight days longer than in patients with ACC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-186
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical infections
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • acalculous cholecystitis
  • bacteremia
  • calculous cholecystitis


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