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HPB Surgery
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 316013, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Are Pyogenic Liver Abscesses Still a Surgical Concern? A Western Experience

1Hepatobiliary Surgery Department, CHU de Caen, 14000 Caen, France
2Medical Statistics, CHU de Caen, 14000 Caen, France
3Radiology Department, CHU de Caen, 14000 Caen, France
4Infectious Diseases, CHU de Caen, 14000 Caen, France

Received 12 September 2011; Revised 25 December 2011; Accepted 30 December 2011

Academic Editor: Olivier Farges

Copyright © 2012 Barbara Alkofer et al. 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.


Backgrounds. Pyogenic liver abscess is a rare disease whose management has shifted toward greater use of percutaneous drainage. Surgery still plays a role in treatment, but its indications are not clear. Method. We conducted a retrospective study of pyogenic abscess cases admitted to our university hospital between 1999 and 2010 and assessed the factors potentially associated with surgical treatment versus medical treatment alone. Results. In total, 103 liver abscess patients were treated at our center. The mortality was 9%. The main symptoms were fever and abdominal pain. All of the patients had CRP > 6 g/dL. Sixty-nine patients had a unique abscess. Seventeen patients were treated with antibiotics alone and 57 with percutaneous drainage and antibiotics. Twenty-seven patients who were treated with percutaneous techniques required surgery, and 29 patients initially received it. Eventually, 43 patients underwent abscess surgery. The factors associated with failed medical treatment were gas-forming abscess ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 6 ) and septic shock at the initial presentation ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 8 ) . Conclusion. Medical and percutaneous treatment constitute the standard management of liver abscess cases. Surgery remains necessary after failure of the initial treatment but should also be considered as an early intervention for cases presenting with gas-forming abscesses and septic shock and when treatment of the underlying cause is immediately required.