Department of Clinical Pathology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 137-040, Korea.
We report a case of necrotizing arteritis involving the gallbladder. This case was clinically diagnosed as cholelithiasis with cholecystitis, and necrotizing arteritis was found in the surgically resected specimen. Vascular changes were similar to those seen in classic polyarteritis nodosa, involving medium-sized muscular arteries and characterized by fibrinoid necrosis and panarterial and periarterial inflammation varying from active to resolving stages. Acute cholecystitis is a rare initial clinical manifestation of the systemic vasculitis. If acute cholecystitis is found in the absence of obvious cause, careful examination is essential. Since steroid therapy improves the prognosis in the systemic vasculitis, clinicians and pathologists should be aware of this unusual lesion.