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Am J Gastroenterol. 1998 Feb;93(2):253-5.

Cholangiocarcinoma presenting as pyogenic liver abscess: is its outcome influenced by concomitant hepatolithiasis?

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang-Gung University, Taipei, Taiwan.



The etiology of pyogenic liver abscess is changing. Malignant biliary obstruction has emerged as one of the most important causes. We explored the clinical course of pyogenic liver abscess caused by cholangiocarcinoma.


The medical records of 19 patients with cholangiocarcinoma presenting as pyogenic liver abscess were reviewed. Of them, 57.8% (11 of 19) had concomitant hepatolithiasis. Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae were the most common pathogens isolated from aspirates of the abscesses. Eight patients received percutaneous drainage, whereas 11 patients initially underwent surgical drainage because of the presence of ascites or coagulopathy or lack of awareness of the underlying cholangiocarcinoma.


Overall, the hospital mortality rate was 36.8% (seven of 19). Patients with hepatolithiasis had a hospital mortality rate of 54.5% (six of 11), compared with 12.5% (one of eight) in those without (p < 0.01). Notably, 84.2% (16 of 19) of the patients died within 6 months after the diagnosis was made.


Cholangiocarcinoma presenting as liver abscess has a dismal prognosis. Concomitant hepatolithiasis worsened the infectious process and adversely affected the survival.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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