Nationwide Outcomes following Percutaneous Cholecystostomy for Acute Calculous Cholecystitis and the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019: Results of the Multicentre Audit of Cholecystostomy and Further Interventions (MACAFI study)

J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2023 Feb;34(2):269-276. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2022.10.021. Epub 2022 Oct 18.


Purpose: To assess the mortality, readmission rates, and practice variation of percutaneous cholecystostomy (PC) in patients with acute calculous cholecystitis in the United Kingdom (UK).

Materials and methods: A total of 1,186 consecutive patients (636 men [53.6%]; median age, 75 years; range, 24-102 years) who underwent PC for acute calculous cholecystitis between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2020, were included from 36 UK hospitals. The exclusion criteria were diagnostic aspirations, absence of acute calculous cholecystitis, and age less than 16 years. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown was declared on March 26, 2020, in the UK, which served to distinguish among groups.

Results: Most patients (66.3%) underwent PC as definitive treatment, whereas 31.3% underwent PC as a bridge to surgery. The overall 30-day readmission rate was 42.2% (500/1,186), and the 30-day mortality was 9.1% (108/1,186). Centers performing fewer than 30 PCs per year had higher 90-day mortality than those performing more than 60 (19.3% vs 11.0%, respectively; P = .006). A greater proportion of patients presented with complicated acute calculous cholecystitis during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to prior (49.9% vs 40.9%, respectively; P = .007), resulting in more PCs (61.3 vs 37.9 per month, respectively; P < .001). More PCs were performed in tertiary hospitals than in district general hospitals (9 vs 3 per 100 beds, respectively; P < .001), with a greater proportion performed as a bridge to surgery (50.5% vs 22.8%, respectively; P < .001).

Conclusions: The practice of PC is highly variable throughout the UK. The readmission rates are high, and there is significant correlation between mortality and PC case volume.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • COVID-19*
  • Cholecystitis, Acute* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cholecystitis, Acute* / surgery
  • Cholecystostomy* / adverse effects
  • Cholecystostomy* / methods
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome