Biliary tract infection

What Is A Biliary Tract Infection?

A biliary tract infection, also known as cholangitis, occurs when there is an infection in any part of the biliary system, which includes the gallbladder, liver, bile ducts, and pancreas. The infection is typically caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, fever, chills, jaundice, and nausea. In some cases, a biliary tract infection may lead to serious complications.

What Are The Causes Of A Biliary Tract Infection?

Bacterial infections are the most common cause of biliary tract infections. Bacteria can enter the biliary tract through the bloodstream or through surgical incisions following gallbladder or liver surgery. Other potential causes include viral infections, parasites, diseases such as cystic fibrosis or pancreatitis, gallstones, and certain medications.

How Is A Biliary Tract Infection Diagnosed?

A diagnosis of a biliary tract infection may be made based on a physical exam, medical history, and laboratory tests. Blood tests may be used to determine if there is an infection and to check for elevated levels of certain enzymes that may indicate the infection is due to a gallstone. Other potential tests include imaging scans, ultrasound, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), and liver biopsy.

What Are The Treatments For A Biliary Tract Infection?

Treatment for a biliary tract infection depends on the cause of the infection. If the infection is caused by bacteria, antibiotics are typically prescribed. In some cases, if the infection is due to a gallstone, it may be necessary to remove the stone surgically. Other treatments for bile tract infections may include pain relievers, fluid therapy, and dietary changes.

What Are The Complications Of A Biliary Tract Infection?

Complications of biliary tract infections may include liver failure, abscesses, and sepsis. It is also possible for the infection to spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs and kidneys. In rare cases, a biliary tract infection can lead to death.

What Are The Prevention Measures Against Biliary Tract Infections?

  • Practice preventive measures such as regular hand-washing.
  • Eat plenty of fiber-rich foods to reduce the risk of gallstones.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Practice safe sex as infections transmitted through sexual contact can lead to biliary tract infections.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise.
  • Practice proper hygiene after handling raw meat to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination.