Cholangitis: Symptoms and Treatment


The liver is one of the most important organs of the human body along with the heart, brain, lungs. The tasks that the liver performs are many: it is the filtration of all kinds of toxins, and the production of glycogen, and the storage of certain vitamins (A, D, B12). Refers to the functions of the liver and the synthesis of bile. Initially, the bile is collected in the hepatic bile ducts, and then along the common bile duct it goes to the gall bladder. Inflammation of these bile ducts is the main feature of a fairly common disease — cholangitis.

Causes of occurrence

The emergence and development of cholangitis is facilitated by two factors: congestion of bile and the presence of infection. This combination of circumstances can cause the following reasons:


  • Penetration to the bile ducts of pathogenic bacteria: staphylococci, E. coli, pale spirochete, typhoid bacillus. The bacteria are usually infiltrated from the lumen of the duodenum, but sometimes it happens through the portal vein or lymph.
  • The presence of parasites in the body. The most strongly promote the development of cholangitis lamblia, ascarids, intestinal ugrites.
  • Irritation of the walls with pancreatic juice
  • Autoimmune diseases. A variant of the disease in this case will be called primary sclerosing cholangitis.
  • Anomalies in the development of bile ducts
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Surgical interventions in this area.

In addition to these reasons, the inflammation of the bile ducts can provoke some viruses — for example, hepatitis C.

Classification of disease varieties

In the previous section, we examined various types of cholangitis that differed in the causes of the disease. So, for example, distinguish bacterial, viral, autoimmune and helminthic type of the disease. However, cholangitis is also divided by other features. The main views will be discussed below.

Primary sclerosing type

About what constitutes the primary sclerosing cholangitis, it was mentioned a little above, but it will be superfluous to consider this issue in more detail. It starts with the fact that it is chronic cholangitis, in which the scars form in the biliary tract. As a result, the bile can not move normally through the canals, and, therefore, the liver does not work as it should.

The causes that contribute to the development of such a disease as primary sclerosing cholangitis have not been studied thoroughly, but it is assumed that this is due to autoimmune diseases. The category of risk includes people whose relatives were ill with the disease. Also, somewhat more often, primary sclerosing cholangitis occurs in men, rather than in women.

Purulent disease type

Purulent cholangitis is usually bacterial in nature and characterized by the presence of wounds on the walls of the bile ducts. Rankes eventually become festering, in some cases necrosis of tissues may even begin. This kind of disease is sometimes behaves as an acute cholangitis, and sometimes takes the chronic form.

Festering type cholangitis dangerous in the first place, the fact that his picture of the disease is similar to other varieties of the disease, as improper and untimely treatment can lead to severe complications: liver failure, occurs in the liver sets abscesses, purulent intoxication, and so on. Etc.

Cholecystocholangitis

holetsistoholangit, or as it is also called, angioholetsistit — is a chronic disease in which inflamed gallbladder with zholchnymi channels. Identify the concept of «chronic cholangitis» and «holetsistoholangit» can not be, that is to holetsistoholangit -.. Is another more common disease, which suggests the presence of inflammatory processes not only in the bile ducts, but also in the gallbladder. Everything else is very similar:.. Cause holetsistoholangit bacterial, viral and parasitic infections, congenital diseases, allergic reactions, mechanical interference, autoimmune diseases, etc. Symptoms and treatments for such diseases as holetsistoholangit, also similar to the classic cholangitis

Manifestations of the disease

Despite the fact that there are several types of cholangitis (including the already mentioned primary sclerosing cholangitis, cholecystocholangitis, etc.), their symptoms are quite similar. These characteristic cholangitis symptoms will be listed below.


  1. Yellowing of the skin and eyes. It arises from stagnation of bile.
  2. Severe fever, chills. Especially, such symptoms are characteristic if there is acute cholangitis.
  3. Painful sensations in the right hypochondrium
  4. Bitterness in the mouth, nausea, severe vomiting.
  5. Enlarging the liver in size.
  6. Weakness, lethargy.

In the acute form of the disease, all these symptoms will be expressed very clearly, so that it will be difficult to notice them. But in a chronic form all the symptoms are somewhat muffled: instead of fever, subfebrile is observed, instead of constant vomiting — slight nausea, pain in the hypochondrium is not so strong. On the one hand, the chronic form of the disease is less painful for the patient, on the other — a person often decides to endure not too much pain, and in the case of cholangitis this can have deplorable consequences.





Diagnostic Methods

Symptoms of cholangitis, especially acute, are vivid and indicate liver problems, however, in order to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe treatment for cholangitis, a number of additional tests are needed. Here are the main ones:


  • Initial inspection. It produces palpation, with which you can establish, enlarged and tightened the liver, whether there is pain syndrome.
  • Hepatic tests (this is a blood test). Allow to know the level of certain enzymes and bilirubin.
  • Study of biliary tract obtained by duodenal sounding
  • Cholecystography, excretory choleography.
  • Ultrasound. Allows you to estimate the size of the gallbladder and liver.
  • Stool analysis for the presence of parasites
  • Biochemical blood test

Treatment for cholangitis

Treatment of cholangitis can be performed both in the dispensary and in the department of the hospital. The patient must be freed from physical exertion. The treatment methods work in a complex, so it is important not to miss any of its aspects.

Method of supply

Diet with cholangitis implies the rejection of fatty foods, alcohol, fried foods, dishes with an abundance of spices, smoked foods, canned food. You can not eat garlic and onions. Take food often and gradually, so as not to overload the liver. The following products will benefit:


  1. Low-fat meats (veal, chicken fillet, rabbit meat) and fish (hake, pikeperch)
  2. Low-fat dairy products (kefir, fermented baked milk, fat-free cottage cheese)
  3. Kashi, especially buckwheat and oatmeal.
  4. Vegetables — cooked or steamed

Also, when drinking cholangitis is important drinking regime — a day should eat at least 1.5-2 liters of clean water.

Drug treatment

In the period of acute attacks, treatment with cholangitis involves taking medications that can relieve inflammation. They are usually broad-spectrum antibiotics, such as tetracycline, biomycin. To remove the pain, sedatives and pain medications are prescribed.

Conservative therapy

When acute inflammation was removed, general methods of treatment are used to improve the patient’s condition. Good results in this respect are provided by mineral water resorts, some physiotherapeutic procedures (diathermy, UHF), special exercise complexes, mud and paraffin applications are also shown.

In conclusion, it can be noted that the symptoms of cholangitis are sometimes not too noticeable, but it is important to pay attention to them in time. Treatment of cholangitis at this time is not too difficult, especially in the early stages, but if the disease is started, the complications can be very serious — up to cirrhosis.