Cholangitis - common bile duct (tube bringing bile from liver to gallbladder and intestines) infection.
Cholangitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection, which can occur when the duct is blocked by something, such as a gallstone or tumor. The infection may also come from parasites common in unclean environments. Risk factors contributing to a Cholangitis infection include patient or family history of gallstones, sclerosing cholangitis, HIV, narrowing of the common bile duct, and travel to underdeveloped areas with food or water contaminated by bacteria and parasites.
Common signs of Cholangitis are intermittent right upper abdominal pain that may be sharp, crampy, or dull. Some patients report fever symptoms like chills, headaches, nausea and vomiting. Some people report dark urine, orange urine, or general hematuria (red, bloody urine) and a yellowing of the skin (jaundice).
Cholangitis tests can be abdominal ultrasound, Endoscopic testing or imaging tests. Blood tests may be done to check Bilirubin levels, Liver enzymes and function, and the white blood count (WBC)
Proper treatment such as antibiotics or surgery in severe cases can usually cure Cholangitis. Invasive procedures like placement of metal or plastic stents within the bile system may be needed to prevent recurrence.