Prominent gallbladder enlargement: Kawasaki disease or other congenital or acquired gallbladder disease? A case report

J Int Med Res. 2021 Sep;49(9):3000605211041507. doi: 10.1177/03000605211041507.


Kawasaki disease (KD) is a common systemic vasculitis in childhood that can result in damage to multiple body systems. However, prominent gallbladder (GB) enlargement in the acute stage is especially rare. A 5-year-old boy was admitted to the hospital with an 8-day history of a cervical mass, 7-day history of fever, and 5-day history of abdominal pain and rash. The child was diagnosed with KD. After treatment with high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (2 g/kg), all clinical manifestations were relieved except the abdominal pain. Enhanced computed tomography showed distinct enlargement of the GB, and a congenital choledochal cyst was strongly suspected. After high-dose glucocorticoid treatment, his obviously enlarged GB returned to normal size in the subacute phase. No abnormality was found during 2 years of follow-up. Prominent GB enlargement may emerge in the acute stage of KD. The enlarged GB can return to normal size within the subacute stage by standard treatment for KD. Proper diagnosis, thorough differential diagnosis, and active anti-inflammatory treatment of KD are crucial to avoid surgery.

Keywords: Kawasaki disease; case report; computed tomography; gallbladder; glucocorticoid therapy; pediatric.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Fever
  • Gallbladder Diseases* / diagnostic imaging
  • Gallbladder Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome* / diagnostic imaging
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome* / drug therapy


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous