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April 1967

Acute Suppurative CholangitisExperience With 15 Consecutive Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Surgery, Marquette University School of Medicine and its affiliated teaching hospitals, Milwaukee.

Arch Surg. 1967;94(4):460-468. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330100024004

ACUTE suppurative cholangitis was first described in 1877 by Charcot1 who suggested a diagnostic triad comprising jaundice, chills and fever, and pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. To this, Reynolds and Dargan2 in 1959 added shock and central nervous system depression as specific identifying features of this condition.

Twenty-five years after Charcot's original description of acute inflammation of the biliary tree, Rogers,3 based on a postmortem study of 20 cases with suppurative cholangitis, first attempted emergency surgical decompression of the common duct using a glass tube for a patient with this condition. Little more appeared in the literature regarding this entity until 1940 when Cutler and Zollinger4 discussed the importance of early surgical decompression of the common duct in such cases. In 1945, Grant5 reported three cases of suppurative cholangitis, and Cole6 added five in 1947.

Following Reynolds and Dargan's definition

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