Table of Contents
HPB Surgery
Volume 2, Issue 3, Pages 185-188

Percutaneous Management of Pyogenic Hepatic Abscesses

1Department of Surgery, Lund University, Sweden
2Department of Roentgenology, Lund University, Sweden
3Department of Surgery, Lund University, Lund S-221 85, Sweden

Copyright © 1990 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Twelve patients (9 men, 3 women) with a mean age of 65 (54–78) years, with pyogenic hepatic abscesses were managed by percutaneous drainage between 1979 and 1987. Biliary origin was most common (4 patients), followed by hepatic abscesses as a late postoperative complication (seen in 3 patients) and hepatic abscesses occurring in association with acute appendicitis (2 patients). The origin was unknown in 3 patients. Diagnosis was reached by computed tomography or ultrasonography with a diagnostic delay of in mean 11 days. Seventeen abscesses were found among the 12 patients. The median abscess size (maximal diameter) was 7 (1–12) cm. Nine patients were treated with percutaneous drainage with an indwelling catheter within the abscess cavity for up to 3 weeks, while 3 patients were managed with percutaneous puncture and aspiration alone. The most commonly isolated organism from the drained hepatic abscess was E.coli. The course following percutaneous treatment was uneventful, without mortality and recurrence of the hepatic abscess during follow-up. One patient required surgical drainage of an additional hepatic abscess.

Percutaneous drainage of hepatic abscesses, independent of origin, thus seems as a safe and reliable method, which should be considered as the treatment of choice if facilities and knowledge of percutaneous management are provided.