Acute acalculous cholecystitis following COVID-19 vaccination: a case report

Pan Afr Med J. 2022 Apr 11:41:291. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2022.41.291.33047. eCollection 2022.


Acute acalculous cholecystitis is an acute inflammation of the gallbladder in the absence of stones, usually occurring in elderly and critically ill patients with underlying conditions. A 29-year-old man presented to the hospital complaining of abdominal pain in the right hypochondrium with permanent fever three days after Janssen COVID-19 vaccine inoculation. Abdominal ultrasound revealed a thickened gallbladder wall without evidence of gallstone consistent of an acute acalculous cholecystitis. Blood analyses revealed thrombocytopenia, eosinophilia and liver dysfunction. The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test was negative. As treatment, the patient benefited of pain management, antibiotic and fluid. In the evolution, there was a regression of clinical signs with persistence of liver dysfunction. The patient was discharged ten days after hospitalization. The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is likely to induce acute acalculous cholecystitis as adverse event following vaccination.

Keywords: Acute acalculous cholecystitis; COVID-19 vaccination; case report; liver dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acalculous Cholecystitis* / diagnosis
  • Acalculous Cholecystitis* / etiology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19 Vaccines* / adverse effects
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Cholecystitis, Acute* / diagnosis
  • Cholecystitis, Acute* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Vaccination


  • COVID-19 Vaccines