Isolated gallbladder injury after blunt abdominal trauma: a case report and review

Vera Tudyka, Susan Toebosch, Wietse Zuidema, Tudyka Vera, Toebosch Susan, Zuidema Wietse

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We describe a case of isolated gallbladder contusion after deceleration trauma. On admission, no evident signs of intra-abdominal injury were present. However, after 24 h observation an explorative laparotomy was performed because of persistent abdominal complaints. A contusion of the gallbladder wall was found with intraluminal haematoma and a cholecystectomy was performed. Isolated injury of the gallbladder after blunt trauma is extremely rare. Risk factors are distention of the gallbladder, deceleration trauma and the presence of a relatively mobile gallbladder. Clinical signs often are very subtle. Delayed presentation is common with signs of hemobilia or obstruction due to intraluminal clots. Ultrasound and computed tomography are suitable diagnostic tools. However, the diagnosis is often missed if no other injuries are present. Signs pointing to gallbladder injury are a collapsed gallbladder with pericholecystic fluid or a hydroptic gallbladder with intraluminal hematoma. Hepatobiliary scintigraphy or angiography might be necessary if additional injuries are suspected. The choice of treatment depends on the kind of injury. Contusion of the gallbladder allows conservative treatment, but in case of a rupture, surgery will be necessary. Accompanying bile duct injuries can be treated by endoscopic stenting. If active arterial bleeding is present, selective embolization can be performed. © 2007 Urban & Vogel München.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-549
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean journal of trauma and emergency surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007


  • Abdominal trauma
  • Gallbladder contusion
  • Hemobilia

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