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The doctors of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, reported cases of people who have recovered from COVID-19 returning with gall bladder gangrene (tissue death due to loss of blood supply). Till now, the reports claimed that five patients have developed gallbladder gangrene.

Talking to the media, Dr. Anil Arora cited that they successfully treated five patients between June and August. He mentioned that the patients after recovering from COVID complained about severe inflammation of the gallbladder without gallstones resulting in gangrene of the gallbladder. All these patients required urgent surgery, he added. Dr. Arora is the chairman of the institute of the liver, gastroenterology, and pancreaticobiliary sciences at the hospital.

The five patients included four men and a woman. They were aged between 37 and 75 years. All of them complained of fever, pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, and vomiting. Reportedly, two of them were suffering from diabetes and one from heart disease. All three had received steroids for the management of Covid symptoms.

The median duration between Covid symptoms and diagnosis of acalculous cholecystitis was two months. All five patients successfully underwent laparoscopic removal of necrotic perforated gallbladders. “Acalculous cholecystitis with the gangrenous gallbladder is a serious condition associated with high morbidity, and much higher mortality than calculous cholecystitis,” he added.

This type of disease is usually seen in patients suffering from diabetes, HIV, vascular disease, total parenteral nutrition, those on prolonged fasting, in intensive-care units, and those with underlying history of trauma, burns, and sepsis.

Meanwhile, the senior consultant pathologist at the hospital, Dr. Shashi Dhawan found severe inflammation and injury due to lack of blood supply along with damage to the vessels in the patient samples. With this development, they believed that COVID-19 is likely to be the cause of such inflammation.

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