Learn About Amebic Liver Abscess

What is the definition of Amebic Liver Abscess?

Amebic liver abscess is a collection of pus in the liver in response to an intestinal parasite called Entamoeba histolytica.

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What are the alternative names for Amebic Liver Abscess?

Hepatic amebiasis; Extraintestinal amebiasis; Abscess - amebic liver

What are the causes of Amebic Liver Abscess?

Amebic liver abscess is caused by Entamoeba histolytica. This parasite causes amebiasis, an intestinal infection that is also called amebic dysentery. After an infection has occurred, the parasite may be carried by the bloodstream from the intestines to the liver.

Amebiasis spreads from eating food or water that has been contaminated with feces. This is sometimes due to the use of human waste as fertilizer. Amebiasis is also spread through person-to-person contact.

The infection occurs worldwide. It is most common in tropical areas where crowded living conditions and poor sanitation exist. Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and India have significant health problems from this disease.

Risk factors for amebic liver abscess include:

  • Recent travel to a tropical region
  • Alcoholism
  • Cancer
  • Immunosuppression, including HIV/AIDS infection
  • Malnutrition
  • Old age
  • Pregnancy
  • Steroid use
What are the symptoms of Amebic Liver Abscess?

There are usually no symptoms of intestinal infection. But people with amebic liver abscess do have symptoms, including:

  • Abdominal pain, more so in the right, upper part of the abdomen; pain is intense, continuous or stabbing
  • Cough
  • Fever and chills
  • Diarrhea, non-bloody (in only one-third of people with amebic liver abscess)
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise)
  • Hiccups that do not stop (rare)
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes, or eyes)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Weight loss
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What are the current treatments for Amebic Liver Abscess?

Antibiotics such as metronidazole (Flagyl) or tinidazole (Tindamax) are the usual treatment for liver abscess. A drug such as paromomycin or diloxanide must also be taken to get rid of all the ameba in the intestine and to prevent the disease from coming back. This treatment can usually wait until after the abscess has been treated.

In rare cases, the abscess may need to be drained using a catheter or surgery to relieve some of the abdominal pain and to increase chances of treatment success.

Who are the top Amebic Liver Abscess Local Doctors?
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All India Institute Of Medical Sciences

All India Institute Of Medical Sciences 
Patna, BR, IN 

Ramesh Kumar is in Patna, India. Kumar is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Amebic Liver Abscess. He is also highly rated in 14 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Amebic Liver Abscess, Amebiasis, Liver Failure, and Budd-Chiari Syndrome.

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Highly rated in
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Universidad Nacional Autónoma De México

Facultad De Medicina 
Mexico City, DIF, MX 04360

Cecilia Ximenez is in Mexico City, Mexico. Ximenez is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Amebic Liver Abscess. She is also highly rated in 2 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Amebic Liver Abscess, Amebiasis, and Pyogenic Liver Abscess.

 
 
 
 
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Highly rated in
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All India Institute Of Medical Sciences

All India Institute Of Medical Sciences 
Patna, BR, IN 

Rajeev Priyadarshi is in Patna, India. Priyadarshi is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Amebic Liver Abscess. He is also highly rated in 5 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Amebic Liver Abscess, Wandering Spleen, Amebiasis, and Bile Duct Cysts.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Amebic Liver Abscess?

Without treatment, the abscess may break open (rupture) and spread into other organs, leading to death. People who are treated have a very high chance of a complete cure or only minor complications.

What are the possible complications of Amebic Liver Abscess?

The abscess may rupture into the abdominal cavity, the lining of the lungs, the lungs, or the sac around the heart. The infection can also spread to the brain.

When should I contact a medical professional for Amebic Liver Abscess?

Call your provider if you develop symptoms of this disease, especially if you have recently traveled to an area where the disease is known to occur.

How do I prevent Amebic Liver Abscess?

When traveling in tropical countries with poor sanitation, drink purified water and do not eat uncooked vegetables or unpeeled fruit.

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Amebic liver abscess
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What are the Latest Advances for Amebic Liver Abscess?
Amoebic liver abscess in a COVID-19 patient: a case report.
Development of amoebic liver abscess in early pregnancy years after initial amoebic exposure: a case report.
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A rare hepatic mass in an Italian resident.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: June 20, 2021
Published By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Huston CD. Intestinal protozoa. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 113.

Petri WA, Haque R, Moonah SN. Entamoeba species, including amebic colitis and liver abscess. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 272.