We are experiencing exceptionally high volumes in our emergency rooms.
Every patient is important to us, and we are doing all we can to provide care quickly and efficiently.
Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

A to Z: Cholangitis

May also be called: Acute Cholangitis; Acute Gallstone Cholangitis; Ascending Cholangitis

Cholangitis (koh-lan-JIE-tis) is an infection of the biliary tract, the network of ducts that transport bile from the liver to the gallbladder and intestines.

More to Know

One of the main functions of the liver is to produce bile, a digestive fluid that breaks down fats in the digestive tract. Bile from the liver is stored in the gallbladder and released into the small intestine when food is being digested. The vessels, or ducts, that transport bile are collectively known as the biliary tract. The major duct, which carries bile from the gallbladder and liver to the intestines, is called the common bile duct.

illustration

If the common bile duct becomes blocked, bile can back up and cause an infection in one or more of the bile ducts. This is called cholangitis. Gallstones, scarring of the duct, and tumors can cause blockages. This can lead to abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, and other symptoms. Without treatment, the infection can spread to the liver and may become life threatening.

Keep in Mind

Cholangitis is a serious medical condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Prompt treatment with antibiotic medications or surgery greatly increases the likelihood of a full recovery.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.