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April 14, 1923


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1923;80(15):1055-1058. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640420017007

Subdiaphragmatic abscess, or a localized collection of pus in contact with the under surface of the diaphragm, is becoming less frequent, as diagnosis and surgical technic improve; but the condition, I believe, is more common than discussions of the subject usually imply. It certainly occurs occasionally in almost every hospital; and since early diagnosis and treatment usually mean a cure, while late diagnosis is often followed by serious complications and death, subdiaphragmatic abscess should be carefully eliminated in every postoperative case showing evidence of suppuration somewhere in the body, or in the case of any acute abdominal catastrophe followed by evidence of suppuration.

The subphrenic space is divided anatomically into four intraperitoneal and two extraperitoneal spaces. The falciform ligament divides the entire space into a right and left side, these being further divided into anterior and posterior intraperitoneal spaces by the lateral ligaments. The left extraperitoneal space is just above