Published: 2020-02-26

Gallbladder volvulus: a rare cause of acute abdomen

Raphael Shamavonian, Jade F. Enoch, Nagy Andrawis


Gallbaldder volvulus is an extremely rare cause of abdominal pain. It requires high clinical suspicion to diagnose and prompt surgical management. The main risk factors for this condition are age (over 60 years old) and being female. Presentation can often mimic acute cholecystitis or biliary colic as patients with a volvulus will present with right upper quadrant pain, nausea, vomiting with or without fevers and raised inflammatory markers. Imaging can help aid diagnosis with computed tomography of the abdomen or ultrasound often being the most available and time efficient modality. Delay in diagnosis and surgery can lead to significant patient morbidity. We report a case of gallbladder volvulus in a 78-year-old female that was managed successfully with laparoscopic cholecystectomy.


Gallbladder, Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopy, Volvulus

Full Text:



Nakao A, Matsuda T, Funabiki S, Mori T, Koguchi K, Iwado T, et al. Gallbladder torsion: case report and review of 245 cases reported in the Japanese literature. J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Surg. 1999;6(4):418-21.

Pu TW, Fu CY, Lu HE, Cheng WT. Complete body-neck torsion of the gallbladder: a case report. World J Gastroenterol. 2014;20(38):14068-72.

Wendel A. A case of floating gallbladder and kidney complicated by cholelithiasis, with perforation of the gallbladder. Ann Surg. 1898;27(2):199-202.

Reilly DJ, Kalogerpoulos G, Thiruchelvam D. Torsion of the gallbladder: a systematic review. HPB. 2012;14(10):669-72.

Nguyen T, Geraci A, Bauer JJ. Volvulus of the gallbladder. Surg. Endosc. 1999;9:519-21.

Stieber AC, Bauer JJ. Volvulus of the gallbladder. Am J Gastroenterol. 1983;78(2):96-8.

Shaikh AA, Charles A, Domingo S, Schaub G. Gallbladder volvulus: a report of two original cases and review of the literature. Am Surg. 2005;71(1):87-9.

Vedanayagam MS, Nikolopoulos I, Janakan G, El-Gaddal A. Gallbladder volvulus: a case of mimicry. BMJ Case Rep. 2013: bcr2012007857.

Lau WY, Fan ST, Wong SH. Acute torsion of the gallbladder in the aged: a re-emphesis on clinical diagnosis. ANZ J Surg. 1982;52(5):492-4.

Gupta V, Singh V, Sewkani A, Purohit D, Varshney R, Varshney S. Torsion of gall bladder, a rare entity: a case report and review article. Cases J. 2009;2(1):193.

Bahar MM, Motie MR, Amouzeshi A. Gallbladder volvulus: review of the literature and report of three cases. J Trauma. 2013;1(1):34-8.

Tajima Y, Tsuneoka N, Kuroki T, Kanematsu T. Galbladder torsion showing a ‘whirl sign’ on a multi detector computed tomography scan. Am J Surg. 2009;197(1):9-10.

Christoudias GC. Gallbladder volvulus with gangrene. Case report and review of the literature. J Soc Laproend. 1997;1(2):167-70.

Frahat W, Mabrouk MB, Ammar H, Said MA, Lagha S, Gupta R, et al. Gallbladder volvulus: A case report and review of the literature. Int J Surg Case Rep. 2019;60:75-8.