Gallbladder gangrene reported in 5 Covid-recovered patients: Know the symptoms, causes


The patients — four men and one woman — were among the first such cases in India, as per reports. Some of the symptoms they complained of were fever, pain in the right upper quadrant of abdomen, and vomiting.

What is gallbladder gangrene? Dr Sudeep Khanna, senior consultant gastroenterologist, Apollo Indraprastha Hospitals, New Delhi, tells, “Gallbladder gangrene is defined as necrosis and perforation of the gallbladder wall as a result of ischemia (inadequate blood supply to an organ or part of the body) followed by progressive vascular insufficiency.”

Symptoms of gallbladder gangrene include dull pain, fever, nausea or vomiting, and low blood pressure which could be a sign of septic shock (a life-threatening condition), according to Dr Khanna.

Who is at risk of developing gallbladder gangrene?

“Elderly, diabetic, immunocompromised people, patients in ICUs and on parenteral nutrition,” the doctor says. As per reports, of the five patients, aged between 37 and 75, two had diabetes while one suffered from heart disease.

But can Covid lead to gallbladder gangrene? Explains Dr Khanna, “Gallbladder epithelial cells, as being similar to bile duct cells, could be a target of Covid-19 virus, or may be the immunocompromised state of the Covid patient against the virus results in severe inflammation of gall bladder.”

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