Cytologic diagnosis of suppurative cholecystitis due to Candida albicans and actinomyces. A report of 2 cases

Acta Cytol. 2004 May-Jun;48(3):407-10. doi: 10.1159/000326394.


Background: Cholecystitis is a common inflammatory disease of the gallbladder. Actinomycosis and candidiasis of the gallbladder are uncommon causes of acute cholecystitis. There has been no previous report on the cytologic diagnosis of actinomycosis and candidiasis from aspirated gallbladder bile intraoperatively.

Cases: Purulent bile was intraoperatively aspirated from the gallbladder of 71-year-old Indian and a 30-year-old Australian woman. The specimens were sent for cytologic examination. The first case revealed sulphur granules characteristic of Actinomyces spp. The second case showed budding spores and pseudohyphae of Candida spp. Pure colonies of Candida albicans grew from the bile culture.

Conclusion: Actinomycosis and candidiasis rarely cause acute suppurative cholecystitis. Initial diagnosis can be made by cytologic examination of the aspirated purulent bile intraoperatively.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Actinomyces / isolation & purification
  • Actinomycosis / microbiology*
  • Aged
  • Australia / ethnology
  • Candida albicans / isolation & purification
  • Candidiasis / microbiology*
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Cholecystitis, Acute / diagnosis*
  • Cholecystitis, Acute / diagnostic imaging
  • Cholecystitis, Acute / microbiology*
  • Cholecystitis, Acute / pathology
  • Cholecystitis, Acute / surgery
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gallbladder Diseases / etiology*
  • Gallbladder Diseases / microbiology
  • Gallbladder Diseases / surgery
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Suppuration / complications*
  • Suppuration / pathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography