What is Pyogenic Liver Abscess?

Pyogenic Liver Abscess

is a mass of infected tissue which manifests itself as a pus filled area in and around the liver. The liver is a major digestive organ which assists in the metabolic activities of the body. The main functions of the liver include breaking down food into simple sugars and storing glycogen as reserved energy for future use, decomposition of red blood cells, protein synthesis, hormone production and detoxification of the body. Any infection in the liver tissue can seriously affect the functioning of the organ. The discussed type accounts for 80% of all the cases of liver abscesses.

The condition has the potential to become life threatening. With treatment, mortality from the disease is 10-30%.

Causes of Pyogenic Liver Abscess

  • Diseases like Appendicitis, Pancreatitis, Perforated Bowel and Diverticulum can cause abdominal infection leading to the development of pus filled cavity in the liver.
  • Infection in the bile duct.
  • Bacterial infection caused by strains like Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, E.coli, Klebsiella etc. These bacteria are renowned for attacking the digestive tract.
  • Trauma or any external injury to the liver or bile ducts.
  • It can also develop as a post operative syndrome where bile ducts are injured during the surgery. Endoscopy involving bile ducts can also result in such injuries and bring about the discussed liver condition.

Symptoms of the condition

  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort especially in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen.
  • Hepatomegalia or enlarged liver.
  • Lethargy.
  • Weight loss.
  • Vomiting and Anemia.
  • Jaundice or Yellow skin due to an increase in the bilirubin count in the body.
  • If the abscess makes it close to the diaphragm then signs of pleural effusion or bulid up of fluid in the intracellular cavity of the lining between the lungs and chest cavity can be seen.

Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic tests mostly include the following:

  • CT Scan of the Abdomen.
  • Ultrasound of the Abdomen.
  • Bilirubin count.
  • Culture of Blood for Bacterial strains.
  • Biopsy of Liver.
  • Liver Function Test.
  • White Blood Cell Count.
  • Complete Blood Count.

Treatment of Pyogenic Liver Abscess

  • Treatment requires surgical aspiration and drainage of pus followed by antibiotic therapy.

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