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P N G Med J. 1998 Jun;41(2):77-82.

Multiple liver abscesses: an unusual case which demonstrates the importance of ultrasonography in the detection of liver pathology.

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AEA Medical Services, Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea.


A 48-year-old caucasian male was admitted to hospital with right-sided chest pain, pyrexia and cough. He had no history of dysentery. He was treated with erythromycin and cotrimoxazole for right lower lobe pneumonia but failed to respond. Tender hepatomegaly developed and ultrasound scan demonstrated multiple abscesses in the liver. Entamoeba histolytica was identified in his faeces. He was treated with intravenous metronidazole, chloramphenicol and gentamicin and then oral tinidazole, after which improvement was rapid. He was later transferred to Australia. Subsequent abdominal CAT scan and aspiration of abscesses confirmed the diagnosis of multiple amoebic liver abscesses with secondary bacterial infection. Final treatment was with oral ciprofloxacin and metronidazole for four weeks. Ultrasonography is a noninvasive technique which is invaluable in the diagnosis of abdominal and especially liver pathology. This technique should be available in larger centres in tropical countries. Anyone living in or visiting the tropics should be aware of possible exotic diseases presenting in unusual ways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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