Biliary ascariasis presenting with gangrenous perforation of the gall bladder: report of a case and brief review of literature

Trop Doct. 2018 Jul;48(3):242-245. doi: 10.1177/0049475518768103. Epub 2018 Apr 13.


The most common cause of gallbladder perforation is calculous cholecystitis. Rarer causes include trauma, iatrogenic injuries, biliary stasis and gall bladder ischemia. We report a case of gall bladder gangrene with perforation, secondary to extensive ascariasis. A 45-year-old woman presented with acute intestinal obstruction and jaundice. She had abdominal distension and right hypochondrial tenderness. Abdominal radiography showed dilated bowel loops and ultrasonogram showed worms in the small intestine and biliary tree. On exploration, a bolus of worms 2 feet proximal to the ileocaecal junction was found causing obstruction. Worms were also present in the bile duct and gallbladder causing gangrene and perforation. She underwent cholecystectomy, bile-duct exploration and enterotomy. However, she died on the third postoperative day of overwhelming sepsis. Enteric complications of ascaris leading to bowel obstruction are well-known. Hepatobiliary complications such as cholangitis and obstructive jaundice are rare. However, such an extreme degree of infestation leading to gangrene and perforation of the gall bladder is extremely rare.

Keywords: Parasitic infection; diagnosis; digestive; physiology; surgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Ascariasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Ascariasis / parasitology*
  • Ascariasis / surgery
  • Ascaris / isolation & purification
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / parasitology*
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / surgery
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Female
  • Gallbladder Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Gallbladder Diseases / parasitology*
  • Gallbladder Diseases / surgery
  • Gangrene / diagnostic imaging
  • Gangrene / parasitology*
  • Gangrene / surgery
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Rupture, Spontaneous / diagnostic imaging
  • Rupture, Spontaneous / parasitology
  • Rupture, Spontaneous / surgery
  • Ultrasonography