Torsion of the gallbladder: a systematic review

HPB (Oxford). 2012 Oct;14(10):669-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1477-2574.2012.00513.x. Epub 2012 Jul 3.


Background: Gallbladder torsion is a rare disease, predominantly affecting elderly women. It is an important differential in the acute surgical abdomen.

Methods: A total of 324 published case reports of torsion of the gallbladder were reviewed. Features in diagnostic imaging suggestive of torsion were reviewed and summarized.

Results: Gallbladder torsion is primarily a disease of elderly people; the median age at presentation is 77 years. It is more common amongst women, occurring at a female : male ratio of 4 : 1, although not in childhood, when it occurs at a male : female ratio of 2.5 : 1.

Conclusions: Improved imaging techniques within the last 20 years have enabled the preoperative diagnosis of one quarter of patients with gallbladder torsion. With prompt surgical intervention, the condition has an excellent prognosis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Biliary Tract Surgical Procedures
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Female
  • Gallbladder Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Gallbladder Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Gallbladder Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Gallbladder Diseases* / surgery
  • Gallbladder* / pathology
  • Gallbladder* / physiopathology
  • Gallbladder* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Torsion Abnormality