Cholangitis is inflammation of the bile duct. The most common cause is a bacterial infection, and the problem is then an ascending cholangitis. However, there are other types of cholangitis as well.

The classic triad of cholangitis is fever, jaundice, and right upper quadrant abdominal pain. Cholangitis is a complicated disease with a relatively high mortality.

Ascending cholangitis is caused by bacteria, and causes pain, jaundice, and fever. The bacteria usually originate from a preceding choledocholithiasis and is ascending from the intestines. Typical bacteria is; - Aerobic: E. coli, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas (post ERCP), streptococcus faecalis and Enterobacter - Anaerobic: Bacteroides fragilis, Clostridium perfringens. Both aerobic and anaerobic infection can be present at the same time. Gallstones obstructing the common bile duct are a risk factor for developing ascending cholangitis.

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