• To determine the sensitivity of hepatobiliary imaging (HBI) and strict- and liberal-criteria real-time ultrasonography (RTUS), we retrospectively analyzed 100 cases of pathologically proved acute cholecystitis (AC). A positive HBI was one in which there was nonvisualization of the gallbladder up to four hours after the administration of technetium Tc 99m—disofenin. In the absence of hypoalbuminemia, cirrhosis, or ascites, pathognomonic RTUS findings (strict criteria) for AC were wall edema and/or pericholecystic fluid. Findings indicative of AC (liberal criteria) included the demonstration of stones, a thick gallbladder wall, nonshadowing echoes, or the ultrasonographic Murphy's sign. Of the 100 cases of AC, 91 were calculous, and nine were acalculous. Four of 100 patients had associated choledocholithiasis. The sensitivities in detecting calculous AC were as follows: HBI, 97%; liberal-criteria RTUS, 86%; and strict-criteria RTUS, 24%. The sensitivities in detecting acalculous AC were as follows: HBI, 100%; liberalcriteria RTUS, 89%; and strict-criteria RTUS, 44%.
(Arch Surg 1985;120:904-906)