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South Med J. 1998 Sep;91(9):829-37.

Hepatic amebiasis among patients in a public teaching hospital.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Ben Taub General Hospital, Houston, Tex 77030, USA.


The increase in immigration to the United States is associated with diseases, such as amebiasis, that are endemic to developing countries. We retrospectively reviewed 49 public-hospital patients with hepatic amebiasis occurring between 1985 and 1995. Most patients were immigrants (47) from Latin America (43), male (43), and young (mean age, 39.8 years). Symptoms noted by more than half were abdominal pain and fever. Ultrasonography showed single lesions in 70% and right-sided involvement in 85%. Serologies against Entamoeba histolytica were noted in 86%. After treatment, the median interval from admission to defervescence was 2 days, to normalization of white cell count 3 days, and to resolution of abdominal pain 4 days. Morbidity (one case of pericarditis) and mortality (one death in a cirrhotic man) were low. Hepatic amebiasis continues to be diagnosed in the United States, primarily among Hispanic and Asian immigrants. When appropriately considered, current diagnostic and therapeutic modalities result in rapid improvement and excellent outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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