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December 1989

Morbidity and Mortality in Children With Pyogenic Liver Abscess

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas (Dr Pineiro-Carrero), and Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville (Dr Andres).

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(12):1424-1427. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150240046015

• Review of our experience from 1975 to 1986 and a literature survey disclosed 109 children with pyogenic liver abscess. During this time, newer imaging techniques, especially ultrasonography and computed tomography, facilitated the prompt diagnosis of cystic lesions within the liver parenchyma. The incidence of pyogenic liver abscess at our institution (25 per 100 000 pediatric hospital admissions) was higher than previously reported. Since the majority of abscesses were located in the right lobe of the liver, patients were most effectively treated with percutaneous drainage of the abscess cavity. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common bacterial agent responsible for pyogenic liver abscess; however, anaerobic organisms were noted as a major group of pathogens and represented 27% of our patients. Furthermore, one patient was discovered to have multiple microabscesses of the liver associated with cat-scratch disease; pleomorphic gramnegative bacilli were not cultured. Among the 109 patients, the overall mortality of 15% was considerably better than that for children with PLA before 1975. The improved survival may be related to more prompt diagnosis of pyogenic liver abscess followed by evacuation of the liver abscess and antibiotic therapy.

(AJDC. 1989;143:1424-1427)

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