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Is Final Histopathological Examination the Only Diagnostic Criteria for Xanthogranulomatous Cholecystitis?

Background: Xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis (XGC) is an uncommon inflammatory disease of gallbladder (GB) and can mimic GB cancer in extensive form. This study aims to assess the predictability of XGC on the basis of clinical presentation, laboratory tests, and radiological or intraoperative findings on frozen section analysis.

Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study, conducted over a period of 4 years from October 2013 to November 2017. In this study, all patients with histopathological reports of XGC, who underwent cholecystectomy or a radical cholecystectomy, were included. Clinical records of these patients were reviewed for clinical features, laboratory tests, and findings on radiological imaging.

Results: Out of 700 consecutive cholecystectomies reviewed, 34 had histologically proven XGC (4.85%). Two patients had simultaneous presence of GB carcinoma with XGC. The most common presenting symptoms were right upper quadrant pain in 32 (94%) patients, jaundice in 9 (36%) patients, and fever in 5 (14%) patients. The most common radiological finding was cholelithiasis in 85.2% of cases. Thick-walled GB was present in 79.4% of patients; irregular wall thickening was present in 20.5% of patients. Intramural nodule was present in two patients, whereas hepatic invasion was observed in 11% and pericholecystic infiltration was present in 8.8% of patients. Regional lymphadenopathy was present in 9 (26.4%) patients.

Conclusion: Clinical presentation and laboratory parameters were unequivocal due to considerable overlap. Despite recent advances in radiology, none have significant sensitivity and specificity to accurately diagnose XGC preoperatively. Intraoperative frozen section can add to the diagnosis with limited accuracy. The diagnosis of XGC can be confirmed only on histopathological examination.

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