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Clin Radiol. 1992 Mar;45(3):187-9.

Percutaneous catheter drainage of amoebic liver abscess.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India.


Fifteen patients with amoebic liver abscesses underwent percutaneous catheter drainage under ultrasonographic guidance. Thirteen patients had solitary abscesses (right lobe 12, left lobe 1), two had associated subdiaphragmatic collections, while two patients had multiple abscesses. The indications for the drainage included lack of response to medical therapy: imminent rupture in five cases; ruptured liver abscesses in three; enlarging abscesses after hospitalization in three; persistent symptoms in two; and large left lobe abscesses in two. The volume of the abscesses before drainage was 102-1008 ml (mean 432 ml). Pigtail catheters (8 F) were used in nine of the patients and 12 F sump catheters in six. When multiple abscesses and associated subdiaphragmatic collection were present, each was drained separately. The catheters were removed (mean 7 days, range 3-20 days) when patients became apyrexial, catheter drainage was less than 10 ml in 24 h and cavitogram showed a negligible cavity (mean residual volume 5.5 ml, range 3-15 ml). Complications included minor blood loss through the catheter for 12 h in one patient and reappearance of the abscess in another requiring further drainage. Our experience suggests that catheter drainage of amoebic liver abscesses in selected cases is safe and effective, and results in prompt and early resolution of the abscess cavity with restoration of normal parenchyma.

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