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Urology. 2001 Feb;57(2):246-51.

Diagnosis and treatment of pyogenic psoas abscess in diabetic patients: usefulness of computed tomography and gallium-67 scanning.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University School of Medicine, Republic of China, Taoyuan, Taiwan.



To examine retrospectively the clinical presentations, microbiologic characteristics, and treatment outcomes of psoas abscess in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and to assess the usefulness of computed tomography and gallium-67 scanning in its early diagnosis.


During a 9-year period, psoas abscesses in patients with DM were collected at a medical center. The clinical history and associated etiologic factors, microbiologic results, clinical outcomes, and hospitalization days were recorded. The use of imaging in the diagnosis of psoas abscess and other concomitant infectious lesions was also studied.


Fifteen patients with DM and psoas abscess (13 women and 2 men; mean age 58.7 +/- 9.0 years) were found. The most frequent symptom was fever (12 of 15). Of the six different microorganisms that grew in the blood and/or abscess cultures, Staphylococcus aureus was the most frequent (7 of 15). The most commonly associated pathologic finding was vertebral osteomyelitis (5 of 15). Computed tomography and/or magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the diagnosis of psoas abscesses in all 15 patients. The gallium-67 scan especially aided in the diagnosis of the patients who had initially been diagnosed as having fever of unknown origin (4 of 5) and in the diagnosis of concomitant lesions (9 of 12). Debridement or surgical drainage of the abscess was done in 12 patients. All the patients received adequate antibiotic treatment. However, the mortality rate was 20%. The average hospitalization stay was 42.7 +/- 20.7 days.


Psoas abscess in patients with DM is a disease with both diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. We found the infecting microorganisms to be variable and the mortality rate high.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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