Background: Hepatobiliary disease in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been well documented. Cytomegalovirus and Cryptosporidium are the pathogens most frequently associated. Previous reports of cholecystectomies and AIDS have had conflicting results on morbidity and mortality.
Method: Retrospective review of 101 patients with AIDS and symptomatic cholecystitis who underwent cholecystectomy from December 1989 to May 1995.
Results: All patients had symptoms characteristic of gallbladder disease, the most common being abdominal pain and fever. Thickening of the gallbladder was the most common diagnostic finding. Fifty-six patients underwent open cholecystectomy and 45 laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Pathologic examination revealed an abnormal gallbladder in all cases and gallstones in 29%. A specific pathogen or malignancy was identified as the etiologic agent in 44% of patients. Perioperative morbidity was similar (<5%) in both surgical groups. Perioperative mortality was 4% among all the patients treated.
Conclusions: Both open and laparoscopic cholecystectomy improved the quality of life of these patients and should be considered as the treatment for persistent hepatobiliary symptoms in patients with AIDS.