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November 1956

Open Surgical Drainage for Hepatic Amebic Abscess

Author Affiliations

Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Formerly Associate in Surgery, American Hospital, and Surgical Staff, Provident Hospitals, Chicago; Assistant Chief Surgeon, Casa de Salud el Carmen, and Surgeon United States Military Mission, Tegucigalpa, D. C., Honduras.

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(5):780-789. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280050048010

Of all the complications of amebiasis, amebic liver abscess is the commonest and most serious as regards mortality and morbidity. For many years the consensus has been that amebic abscess of the liver should be treated medically because of the unusually high mortality associated with this condition. Kean,1 in 1953, reported on six patients at Halloran General Hospital with amebic liver abscess treated with emetine and chloroquine diphosphate without recourse to surgery. Spellberg,2 as recently as 1954, said "Surgical drainage is inadvisable because of its higher mortality and morbidity owing to secondary infection." He advised that only those cases with demonstrable secondary infection, with multiple abscesses, and with solitary left-lobed abscesses be considered as suitable candidates for open surgical drainage.

After a thorough review and study of the problem, Jordon3 suggested that these original ideas regarding open surgical drainage be revised. His paper reviews the most recent

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