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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2007 Sep;189(3):W138-42.

Sonographically guided percutaneous catheter drainage versus needle aspiration in the management of pyogenic liver abscess.

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Interventional Ultrasonography Department, University Clinical Center, Trnovac bb, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina.



The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of percutaneous catheter drainage (PCD) and to compare PCD with percutaneous needle aspiration in the management of liver abscess.


Sixty patients with pyogenic liver abscess were randomly assigned to two groups in a prospective study. Antibiotics were administered for 10 days, starting the day of the beginning of percutaneous treatment. One group was treated with sonographically guided PCD and the other group with repeated percutaneous needle aspiration. Percutaneous needle aspiration was attempted a maximum of three times. Lack of response to the third aspiration was considered failure of treatment; these patients were treated with PCD but were not included in the PCD group for analysis. Patient demographics, duration of hospital stay, treatment outcome, and complications were analyzed.


Percutaneous needle aspiration was successful in 20 (67%) of the 30 patients after one (n = 12), two (n = 7), or three (n = 1) aspirations. PCD was curative in all 30 patients after one (n = 24) or two (n = 6) procedures. All abscesses 50 mm or less in longest diameter were successfully managed, 10 by percutaneous needle aspiration and 12 by PCD. None of patients in the percutaneous needle aspiration group with multiloculated abscesses (n = 5) was successfully treated. Hospital stay did not differ significantly between the groups. There were no complications related to the procedure.


PCD is more effective than percutaneous needle aspiration in the management of liver abscess. Percutaneous needle aspiration can be used as a valid alternative for simple abscesses 50 mm in diameter or smaller.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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