Diagnostic significance of the CT rim sign in cases of gangrenous cholecystitis

David B. Erlichman, Jeffrey N. Lipman, Haejin In, Kenny Ye, Juan Lin, Inessa Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the association between the CT rim sign and gangrenous cholecystitis (GC) and increased surgical difficulty. Method: Patients who had a contrast enhanced CT of the abdomen and pelvis, followed by non-elective cholecystectomy were analyzed. The scans were reviewed for the CT rim sign by radiologists blinded to the pathologic and clinical outcomes. Demographic and clinical characteristics were compared between patients with and without GC using t-tests or Wilcoxon ranked sum test for continuous variables, and Fishers' exact test for categorical variables, when appropriate. A logistic regression model was fitted with multiple risk factors. Odds ratios as well as 95% confidence intervals were then calculated for the risk factors. A secondary analysis predicting increased surgical difficulty, defined as an operative time of greater than 2 h or increased conversion rate to open surgery, was also examined. Results: A total of 100 patients were included; 20 of which had GC. On imaging, patients with GC were more likely to have a CT rim sign (65% vs 32.5%, OR = 3.80, 95% CI: 1.24–12.7, p = 0.011). The presence of the CT rim sign did not reach a statistically significant association with an operative time >2 h or conversion to open case (56.52% vs 33.77%, OR = 2.55, p = 0.056). Conclusion: The CT rim sign can be utilized to raise the possibility of GC, however the presence of the CT rim sign does not demonstrate an association with increased surgical difficulty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-56
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Imaging
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Acute cholecystitis
  • CT rim sign
  • Gangrenous cholecystitis
  • Rim sign

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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