Hepatic abscess. Changes in etiology, diagnosis, and management.
Most recent reviews of pyogenic hepatic abscess emphasize percutaneous versus open surgical management and devote little time to studying the etiology or the clinical condition of the patient. In this study a detailed review was performed with a computerized analysis of multiple clinical parameters in 73 patients treated for pyogenic hepatic abscess during a 17-year period. The mean age of the patients was 55 years and 38 of them (52%) were male. The mortality rate was comparable for solitary (17%) and multiple (23%) abscesses. The likelihood of death was higher with antibiotic treatment alone (45%) or percutaneous treatment (25%) than with surgical treatment (9.5%). The primary determinant of outcome, however, was the underlying disease, i.e., malignancy or an immunocompromised patient, rather than solitary versus multiple abscesses. In addition the incidence of hepatic abscess seen at this center has doubled from the first half to the second half of the review, reflecting a population of more severely ill patients. It is apparent that in current clinical practice several methods of management are effective, and the choice of therapy should be determined by individualized selection. The principle of timely diagnosis and prompt institution of treatment appropriate to the specific patient remains the standard of care in this potentially grave disease.
Branum, GD; Tyson, GS; Branum, MA; Meyers, WC
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