June 1982

Perforation of the Gallbladder due to Blunt Abdominal Trauma

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.

Arch Surg. 1982;117(6):805-807. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1982.01380300047011

• Gallbladder perforation due to blunt trauma is an uncommon finding. We report our experience with six patients. The factors predisposing to perforation include a distended gallbladder because of either fasting or alcohol ingestion in normal patients, and obstruction of the cystic duct in patients with cholelithiasis. The diagnosis of gallbladder perforation after blunt injury may be suspected in patients with signs of an acute abdomen and hypotension that is not explained by blood loss. Peritoneal lavage that contains bile suggests the tentative diagnosis of trauma to the biliary tract or gallbladder, as well as to the liver or upper bowel. A cholecystectomy is the preferred treatment when gallbladder perforation occurs in the traumatized patient.

(Arch Surg 1982;117:805-807)