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Irrigation of liver abscess: proposal of a novel method and possible indications

Irrigation of liver abscess: proposal of a novel method and possible indications

Hepato-Gastroenterology 48(39): 847-850

We present here two suggestive cases in considering the advantages and disadvantages of irrigation of pyogenic liver abscess: one patient developed an intrahepatic hematoma as an unusual sequela, while the other was successfully treated by abscess irrigation, overcoming failure of percutaneous catheter drainage and the patient's seriously ill condition. Based on these cases, we propose a novel method of liver abscess irrigation via percutaneous drainage tubes with the following three characteristics: 1) use of a drip infusion apparatus for irrigant instillation and drainage in order to avoid elevation of pressure in the abscess, a source of potential life-threatening sequelae, 2) addition of contrast medium to irrigant, and 3) employment of computed tomography in dynamic equilibrium of irrigant in order to evaluate the efficacy of current irrigation. Of interest was the parenchymal enhancement around the irrigated liver abscess revealed by computed tomography with this method, which suggested that dissemination of abscess contents may be inevitable with irrigation. Although the indications for liver abscess irrigation must be considered carefully given the critical sequelae potentially associated with it, the method we present can be used as a second-line trial exclusively for liver abscesses refractory to first-line treatment with percutaneous catheter drainage or needle aspiration, since it can be used not only as a therapeutic procedure with mechanical washing or dilution of abscess contents but also as a diagnostic aid enabling more effective subsequent treatment by defining the areas in which drainage and irrigation is not effective.

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Accession: 010885809

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PMID: 11462939

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