Commenced in January 2007
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Gallbladder Amyloidosis Causing Gangrenous Cholecystitis: A Case Report

Authors: Christopher Leung, Guillermo Becerril-Martinez

Abstract:

Amyloidosis is a rare systemic disease where abnormal proteins invade various organs and impede their function. Occasionally, they can manifest in a solidary organ such as the heart, lung, and nervous systems; rarely do they manifest in the gallbladder. Diagnosis often requires biopsy of the affected area and histopathology shows deposition of abnormally folded globular proteins called amyloid proteins. This case presents a 69-year-old male with a 3-month history of RUQ pain, diarrhea and non-specific symptoms of tiredness, etc. On imaging, both his US and CT abdomen showed gallbladder wall thickening and pericholecystic fluid, which may represent acute cholecystitis with hypodense lesions around the gallbladder, possibly representing liver abscesses. Given his symptoms of abdominal pain and imaging findings, this gentleman eventually had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy showing a gangrenous gallbladder with a mass on the liver bed. On histopathology, it showed amorphous hyaline eosinophilic material, which Congo-stained confirmed amyloidosis. Amyloidosis explained his non-specific symptoms, he avoided further biopsy, and he was commenced immediately on Lenalidomide. Involvement of the gallbladder is extremely rare, with less than 30 cases around the world. Half of the cases are reported as primary amyloidosis. This case adds to the current literature regarding primary gallbladder amyloidosis. Importantly, this case highlights how laparoscopic cholecystectomy can help with the diagnosis of gallbladder amyloidosis.

Keywords: amyloidosis, cholecystitis, gangrenous cholecystitis, gallbladder, systemic amyloidosis

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