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BMJ Case Rep. 2010; 2010: bcr1020092365.
Published online Apr 9, 2010. doi:  10.1136/bcr.10.2009.2365
PMCID: PMC3047486
Unusual presentation of more common disease/injury
Campylobacter jejuni cholecystitis: a rare but significant clinical entity
Peter G Vaughan-Shaw,1 Jonathan Richard Rees,2 Diana White,3 and Phillip Burgess4
1Salisbury District Hospital, Surgery, Odstock Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 8BJ, UK
2Cheltenham District Hospital, Vascular Surgery, Sandford Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7AN, UK
3Great Western Road, Clinical Microbiology, Marlborough Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 6BB, UK
4Great Western Hospital, Colorectal Surgery, Marlborough Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 6BB, UK
Correspondence to Jonathan Richard Rees, j.r.e.rees/at/btinternet.com
Abstract
Cholecystitis caused by Campylobacter is rare with only 14 cases found in the literature. This case describes a 71-year-old man who presented with right hypochondrial abdominal pain due to a gangrenous gallbladder identified at laparotomy. Culture of a bile sample identified a slow-growing gram-negative bacterium identified as Campylobacter jejuni. After a poor clinical response, this identification allowed targeted antibiotic treatment resulting in a slow but successful recovery and discharge 17 days postoperatively. This case demonstrates the importance of considering rare organisms in severe acute cholecystitis and ensuring appropriate cultures are performed, particularly in those who fail to respond to initial antimicrobial treatment.
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