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01.12.2012 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2012

Complete gallbladder torsion diagnosed with sequential computed tomography scans: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2012
Takahiro Koyanagi, Kaoru Sato
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-6-289) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

TK and KS diagnosed, investigated and managed the patient. Also, TK and KS determined the medical significance and wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Torsion of the gallbladder is an extremely rare cause of acute abdomen, which commonly affects thin elderly women. A prompt surgical approach is necessary to avoid fatal complications associated with gangrene and perforation of the gallbladder. However, it is difficult to make a preoperative diagnosis using ordinary imaging modalities.

Case presentation

An 84-year-old Japanese woman was admitted to our hospital due to left lower abdominal pain. Her pain shifted suddenly to the right upper abdomen a half day after admission. Although her enlarged and wall-thickened gallbladder had been already seen at admission, it rotated approximately 180 degrees and deviated to the midline of her abdomen on the second computed tomography scan, which helped us to make a correct diagnosis of gallbladder torsion. The patient underwent an emergency operation (detorsion and cholecystectomy) and recovered without any complications. The gallbladder had necrosis due to torsion.


Sequential diagnostic imaging might be helpful to make a preoperative diagnosis of gallbladder torsion when the gallbladder is enlarged and wall thickened but the patient does not present with typical clinical symptoms.

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