Pyogenic liver abscess

E. J. Gyorffy, C. F. Frey, J. Silva, John P McGahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


A retrospective review of 26 adult patients admitted to University of California, Davis, Medical Center (UCDMC) with pyogenic liver abscess (1980-1986) was performed to ascertain the impact of rapid diagnosis and percutaneous drainage. Ultrasonographic examinations and computed tomography (CT) scans were highly sensitive and noninvasive imaging modalities. Sixteen patients had solitary abscesses and seven had multiple microscopic abscesses. The median time interval from admission to diagnosis and therapy was 2 and 3 days, respectively. Origin of the abscess was determined in 22 patients, the biliary tree being the most common source. Medical therapy was successful in three patients with microabscesses but failed in two. Nine patients had percutaneous drainage; two proceeded to surgical drainage. Twelve patients had surgical drainage; one required repetitive surgical drainage. Postdrainage complications were minimal in all groups. Overall mortality role was 11.5% (two patients). Deaths were related to delay in diagnosis, gram-negative sepsis at presentation, and biliary origin of the abscess.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-705
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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