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Pyogenic liver abscess

Pyogenic liver abscess is a pus-filled area in the liver.

Causes of Pyogenic liver abscess

There are many potential causes of liver abscesses, including:

The most common bacteria that cause liver abscesses are:

  • Bacteroides
  • Enterococcus
  • Escherichia coli
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Streptococcus

In most cases, more than one type of bacteria is found.

Pyogenic liver abscess Symptoms

Tests and Exams

Tests may include:

Treatment of Pyogenic liver abscess

Treatment usually consists of placing a tube through the skin to drain the abscess. Less often, surgery is required. You will also receive antibiotics for about 4 - 6 weeks. Sometimes, antibiotics alone can cure the infection.

Prognosis (Outlook)

This condition can be life threatening some patients. The risk for death is higher in people who have many liver abscesses.

Potential Complications

Life-threatening sepsis can develop.

When to Contact a Health Professional

Call your health care provider if you have:

Prevention of Pyogenic liver abscess

Prompt treatment of abdominal and other infections may reduce the risk of developing a liver abscess. Many cases are not preventable.

References

Reddy KR. Bacterial, parasitic, fungal and granulomatous liver diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 360.

Sifri CD, Madoff LC. Infections of the liver and biliary system. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone;2009:chap 72.

 

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Review Date: 8/15/2012
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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