Learn About Pyogenic Liver Abscess

What is the definition of Pyogenic Liver Abscess?

Pyogenic liver abscess is a pus-filled pocket of fluid within the liver. Pyogenic means producing pus.

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What are the alternative names for Pyogenic Liver Abscess?

Liver abscess; Bacterial liver abscess; Hepatic abscess

What are the causes of Pyogenic Liver Abscess?

There are many possible causes of liver abscesses, including:

  • Abdominal infection, such as appendicitis, diverticulitis, or a perforated bowel
  • Infection in the blood
  • Infection of the bile draining tubes
  • Recent endoscopy of the bile draining tubes
  • Trauma that damages the liver

A number of common bacteria may cause liver abscesses. In most cases, more than one type of bacteria is found.

What are the symptoms of Pyogenic Liver Abscess?

Symptoms of liver abscess may include:

  • Chest pain (lower right)
  • Pain in the right upper abdomen (more common) or throughout the abdomen (less common)
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Fever, chills, night sweats
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Yellow skin (jaundice)
  • Right shoulder pain (referred pain)
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What are the current treatments for Pyogenic Liver Abscess?

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

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

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

What are the possible complications of Pyogenic Liver Abscess?

Life-threatening sepsis can develop. Sepsis is an illness in which the body has a severe inflammatory response to bacteria or other germs.

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

Call your health care provider if you have:

  • Any symptoms of this disorder
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Confusion or decreased consciousness
  • High fever that doesn't go away
  • Other new symptoms during or after treatment
How do I prevent Pyogenic Liver Abscess?

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

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What are the latest Pyogenic Liver Abscess Clinical Trials?
An Observational Study of Risk Factors and Long-term Prognosis of Patients With Pyogenic Liver Abscess in the Real-world

Summary: Pyogenic liver abscess is one of the most common visceral abscesses, its incidence is increasing worldwide. According to the previous literature, the mortality rate of pyogenic liver abscess is as high as 31% and become a serious social health problem. However, the data of prospective observational real-world studies are scarce and no relevant research of the liver histological change has been rep...

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What are the Latest Advances for Pyogenic Liver Abscess?
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: October 25, 2020
Published By: 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, 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 ?

Kim AY, Chung RT. Bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections of the liver, including liver abscesses. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 84.

Sifri CD, Madoff LC. Infections of the liver and biliary system (liver abscess, cholangitis, cholecystitis). 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 75.