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February 1951


Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Medical Teaching Group, Kennedy Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1951;62(2):260-274. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1951.01250030265008

WHEN one searches for a plan of therapy for amebic abscess of the liver in 1950, the adjunctive use of antibiotics is expected to be in that plan. Leonard Rogers1 (1922) actually formulated the basis of modern therapy by proving that Endamoeba histolytica was the etiological agent and that emetine was specific for the disease. He reduced the mortality rate from 57 to 14 per cent by the introduction of emetine as the antiamebic and of the more conservative closed aspiration drainage instead of open drainage, which prior to this time had been associated with dangerous sequelae.

The excellent 1943 monograph by Ochsner and DeBakey2 remains the actual guide, although their plans were largely concerned with surgery and antiamebics and not with antibiotics. Sporadic reports concerning the adjunctive role of the use of antibiotics with promising results have recently appeared.3 It may be superfluous to add that antibiotics should accompany any plan of therapy

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