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Therapeutic percutaneous aspiration of hepatic abscesses: Effectiveness in 25 patients

Therapeutic percutaneous aspiration of hepatic abscesses: Effectiveness in 25 patients
Seung Yon BaekLee M.-G.Kyoung Sik ChoSeung Chul LeeSung K.-B.Yong Ho Auh
Ewha Authors
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Journal Title
American Journal of Roentgenology
0361-803XJCR Link
American Journal of Roentgenology vol. 160, no. 4, pp. 799 - 802
Document Type
OBJECTIVE. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of sonographically guided needle aspiration and systemic antibiotic therapy for the treatment of hepatic abscesses. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. From June 1989 to September 1991, sonographically guided needle aspiration and systemic antibiotics were used to treat 25 consecutive patients with 25 hepatic abscesses. Among 36 patients with hepatic abscesses who were admitted to the hospital during that time, six had antibiotic therapy only; of these, three had microabscesses, two had abscesses less than 3.0 cm in diameter, and one refused needle aspiration. Four patients had surgical external drainage (three had cholelithiasis in addition to hepatic abscesses, and one did not respond to needle aspiration). Two patients treated in 1989 had drainage via an indwelling catheter, which was the preferred method at that time. The remaining 24 patients and one patient who had needle aspiration followed by surgical drainage made up the study group. Seventeen of the hepatic abscesses were caused by pyogenic organisms, six by amoeba, and two by unknown organisms. Eighteen abscesses (72%) were aspirated once, four (16%) were aspirated twice in 8 days, two (8%) were aspirated three times in 14 days, and one (4%) was aspirated four times in 10 days. Persistent fever, pain and tenderness in the right upper quadrant, and leukocytosis were the indications for multiple aspirations. Follow-up sonography was performed to evaluate the outcome of treatment. RESULTS. In 16 cases (64%), the abscesses disappeared within a mean of 84 days. In eight cases (32%) with only partial follow-up, the patients were asymptomatic at the time of discharge and the abscesses were markedly smaller on the last follow-up sonograms (mean, 43 days). One patient (4%) did not respond to aspiration and had surgical drainage. The length of hospitalization varied from 5 to 42 days (mean, 22 days). In patients who became afebrile during the treatment, the fever had lasted from 0 to 10 days (mean, 3 days). Only one patient had a complication of the procedure, a pleural effusion that was treated conservatively. CONCLUSION. Our results show that sonographically guided needle aspiration combined with antibiotic therapy is effective as the initial treatment for hepatic abscesses.
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