Cholecystitis may be secondary to gallbladder involvement in visceral leishmaniasis. It is important to identify leishmaniasis since the patient requires workup and treatment.

Patient selection: cholecystitis, which may be acute, chronic or gangrenous


When to consider the diagnosis of leishmaniasis in a patient with cholecystitis:

(1) The patient has other evidence of visceral leishmaniasis or positive serologic tests.

(2) The person is immunosuppressed (HIV, other) and lives in or has traveled to a region endemic for Leishmania species.

(3) The patient from a country endemic for leishmaniasis has acalculous cholecystitis without evidence of cholesterolosis.


If a patient is suspected of having leishmaniasis then:

(1) examine histologic sections of the gallbladder carefully for evidence of leishmaniasis

(2) consider serologic testing

(3) consider molecular testing

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