Ninety-two patients with suppurative cholecystitis operated on as emergency cases were studied in retrospection. Obstructive cholangitis was seen in two, who eventually died. The mortality after cholecystectomy alone was related to the presence of stones in the common bile duct. The mortality after cholecystostomy alone was related to shock and septicemia, but not to the presence of common bile duct stones or obstructive cholangitis. It was concluded that suppurative cholecystitis with accompanying common bile duct stones should be treated with cholecystectomy and choledocholithotomy, because of the lower rate of reoperations and possibly lower mortality than after cholecystectomy alone; an exception should be made in patients with deterioration in clinical condition or patients in whom technical difficulties develop during the operation. These patients should be subjected to a cholecystostomy as the only emergency procedure.