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An Elderly Woman with Abdominal Pain: Mirizzi Syndrome

Michael Mohseni, Brian Kruse, Charley Graham

(Department of Emergency Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, USA)

Am J Case Rep 2019; 20:394-397

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.914642


BACKGROUND: Mirizzi syndrome is an uncommon but clinically important complication of gallbladder disease that occurs when there is extrinsic compression of the common hepatic duct from gallstones within the cystic duct or from within the gallbladder itself. Obstructive jaundice and cholangitis may ensue. In severe cases, bile duct erosion or gallbladder rupture occur.
CASE REPORT: A demented 80-year-old woman presented to the Emergency Department (ED) with fever and right upper-quadrant abdominal guarding and tenderness.
Computed tomography of the abdomen revealed a markedly dilated and thickened gallbladder with hyperdensity in the region of the gallbladder neck. The mass effect of these gallstones caused central intrahepatic biliary ductal dilatation from extrinsic compression of the extrahepatic biliary duct, consistent with Mirizzi syndrome. Additionally, there were 2 areas of focal rupture of the gallbladder wall.
General Surgery recommended non-operative management and temporizing the patient with a cholecystostomy tube. She remained in the hospital on IV antibiotics and discharged to follow-up as an outpatient with General Surgery.
CONCLUSIONS: Significant morbidity and mortality can be associated with the disease states of Mirizzi syndrome, and it is imperative for the ED physician to promptly recognize and treat such clinical entities. In general, treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach, using the history and physical examination to guide appropriate consultation with General Surgery, Gastroenterology, or Interventional Radiology. The prognosis of Mirizzi syndrome is related to the degree of concomitant complications. Aggressive treatment is appropriate for most patients, with surgical intervention being individualized based on the stage and severity of the disease.

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