Covid’s Latest Unpleasant Surprise: Sore Gallbladder
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It’s been more than a year since Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic. But the disease continues to surprise the medical community with its unique manifestations. Recently, doctors came across a 48-year-old woman who had developed inflammation in the gallbladder post-Covid. Normally, such inflammation is caused due to stones that block the tube leading from the gallbladder to the small intestine.

Doctors at Moolchand Medcity Hospital told this woman did not have stones or any history of gallbladder-related disease that would predispose her to the complication. “She was admitted to our hospital with Covid-related complications in May. Two weeks later, she developed abdominal pain and fever that did not subside despite medications. Ultrasound confirmed inflammation in gallbladder, but no stones. That’s why we suspect that the complication is a post-Covid manifestation,” said Dr Sachin Ambekar, consultant, department of laparoscopic and minimal access surgery.

Ambekar added that the woman was managed with intravenous antibiotics and other supportive measures. “If the inflammation in gallbladder wasn’t diagnosed in time, it could have led to perforation in the organ, which could prove fatal,” he explained. Acute inflammation of the gallbladder post-Covid has been reported from other countries too. Doctors from University Hospitals of Geneva reported at least two such cases, as mentioned in Journal of Hepatology.

“SARS-CoV-2 infection can mimic acalculous acute cholecystitis, an inflammatory disease of the gallbladder; viral RNA detection indicates direct vesicular involvement, while the exact pathogenesis remains to be elucidated. Differential diagnosis can be challenging and rapid testing for SARS-CoV-2, and potentially conservative management might make a difference to patient outcome,” the doctors noted in their case report.

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