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May 1985

Ruptured Amebic Liver Abscess

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Greaney and Donovan) and Medicine (Dr Reynolds), University of Southern California and the Los Angeles County—University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1985;120(5):555-561. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1985.01390290037006

• Fifteen cases of extrahepatic rupture of amebic liver abscess have been reviewed. Five patients had thoracic rupture and ten had intra-abdominal rupture. Celiotomies were performed in five patients, with a preoperative diagnosis of acute appendicitis with perforation in four patients and generalized peritonitis of unknown origin in one patient. All 15 patients were treated with amebicides, including three patients with documented free intraperitoneal perforation who were not treated surgically. Twelve patients recovered uneventfully. Two patients with thoracic rupture developed secondary bacterial complications and in one case of free intraperitoneal rupture, a mistaken diagnosis of ruptured pyogenic abscess was made. Amebicidal therapy was delayed for four days. The patient died of multisystem organ failure. Amebicidal therapy is effective in the treatment of both unruptured and extrahepatic rupture of amebic liver abscess. Surgery should be required only for secondary bacterial complications.

(Arch Surg 1985;120:555-561)