Acute cholecystitis refers to inflammation of the gallbladder. The pathophysiologic mechanism of acute cholecystitis is blockage of the cystic duct. Cholecystitis is a condition best treated with surgery; however, it can be treated conservatively if necessary. This condition can be associated with or without the presence of gallstones and can also be classified as acute or chronic. It is found both in men and women but may have a propensity for certain populations. It may also present with certain classic signs and symptoms. Acute cholecystitis may also be confused with other illnesses such as peptic ulcer disease, irritable bowel disease, and cardiac disease. Chronic and acute pancreatitis can also mimic gallbladder disease.
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