Diagnosis of inflammation of the gallbladder

What methods can be used to diagnose gallbladder inflammation?

  1. clinical examination
  2. Blood analysis
  3. Ultrasound examination
  4. ERCP
  5. CT
  6. Scintigraphy

1. Clinical examination

During the initial physical examination, the so-called Murphy's sign appears clinically in the case of acute inflammation of the gallbladder. When examining the abdomen, the doctor feels the gallbladder under the right costal arch, which leads to a painful stimulus for the acutely ill patient.

2. blood analysis

In a blood test, in addition to increased general inflammation values ​​such as the CRP value (C-reactive protein) and ESR (sedimentation rate), an increase in certain enzymes such as gamma-GT (gamma-glutamyltransferase) and AP (alkaline phosphatase) can be found in the case of a gallbladder inflammation.

Due to the inflammation of the gallbladder, the blood composition also shows an increase in white blood cells (Leukocytosis) with left shift, i.e. an increase in young leukocytes.

3. Ultrasound

When diagnosed by ultrasound examination (Sonography) of the abdomen, a gallbladder inflammation due to the enlargement and widening of the bile duct is noticeable.
A biliary blockage caused by a transfer and gallstones can also be made visible with ultrasound.
A chronically inflamed gallbladder can appear as a thickening or shrinking gallbladder due to scarring.


When diagnosed using ERCP, an abbreviation for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, the gallbladder, biliary tract and the pancreatic duct can move against the direction of flow of the secretion (retrograde) displayed on a screen using a contrast agent under X-rays and stones removed if necessary.
The endoscope used for diagnosis is inserted through the mouth via the esophagus and stomach to the mouth of the bile duct into the duodenum. Stones and constrictions (Stenosis) can be made visible in this way.

5. CT

Computed tomography (CT) should be added to rule out other diseases.

6. Scintigraphy

In rather rare cases, radioactively marked substances can also be used in a scintigraphic display.