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Radiographics. 2004 May-Jun;24(3):737-54.

Percutaneous imaging-guided abdominal and pelvic abscess drainage in children.

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Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 34 Fruit St, White 270, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Percutaneous imaging-guided drainage is the first-line treatment for infected or symptomatic fluid collections in the abdomen and pelvis, in the absence of indications for immediate surgery. The technology and expertise needed to perform percutaneous abscess drainage are widely available and readily adapted for use in the pediatric population. Catheter insertion procedures include the trocar and Seldinger techniques. Imaging guidance for drainage is most commonly performed with ultrasonography (US), computed tomography, or US and fluoroscopy combined. Abscesses in locations that are difficult to access, such as those deep in the pelvis, subphrenic regions, or epigastric region, can be drained by using the appropriate approach-transrectal, transgluteal, intercostal, or transhepatic. Although the causes of abscesses in children differ slightly from those of abscesses in the adult population, the frequency of successful treatment with percutaneous abscess drainage in children is 85%-90%, similar to that in adults. With expertise in imaging-guided drainage techniques and the ability to adjust to the special needs of children, interventional radiologists can successfully drain most abscesses and obviate surgery. Successful adaptation of abscess drainage techniques for pediatric use requires attention to the specific needs of children with respect to sedation, dedicated resuscitation and monitoring equipment, avoidance of body heat loss, minimization of radiation doses, and greater involvement of family compared with that in adult practice.

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