Pyogenic liver abscess
Pyogenic liver abscess is a pus-filled pocket of fluid within the liver. Pyogenic means producing pus.
There are many possible causes of liver abscesses, including:
- Abdominal infection, such as appendicitis, diverticulitis, or a perforated bowel
Appendicitis is a condition in which your appendix gets inflamed. The appendix is a small pouch attached to the large intestine.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Diverticula are small, bulging sacs or pouches that form on the inner wall of the intestine. Diverticulitis occurs when these pouches become inflame...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- 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.
Symptoms of liver abscess may include:
Exams and Tests
Tests may include:
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.
This condition can be life threatening. The risk for death is higher in people who have many liver abscesses.
Life-threatening sepsis can develop. Sepsis is an illness in which the body has a severe inflammatory response to bacteria or other germs.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have:
- Any symptoms of this disorder
- Severe abdominal pain
- Confusion or decreased consciousness
Confusion is the inability to think as clearly or quickly as you normally do. You may feel disoriented and have difficulty paying attention, remembe...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- High fever that doesn't go away
- Other new symptoms during or after treatment
Prompt treatment of abdominal and other infections may reduce the risk of developing a liver abscess, but most cases are not preventable.
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.
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.