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April 1964

Surgery of Liver AbscessesUse of Newer Techniques to Reduce Mortality

Arch Surg. 1964;88(4):602-610. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01310220092015

The mortality for liver abscesses has been inordinately high. The over-all mortality for pyogenic abscesses has been approximately 75% in the past.1,2 Granted that liver abscesses frequently are actually only one lifeendangering manifestation of an infection or disease of even greater magnitude elsewhere in the body and granted that liver abscesses are not a common problem, improvement in mortality and morbidity should be achieved.

The most important reason for the high mortality appears to have been the late recognition or actual failure of recognition of the presence of a liver abscess requiring surgical drainage.2 Inadequate surgical drainage procedures and failure to utilize exhaustive bacteriologic techniques to identify the infecting organism, especially fastidious anaerobic bacteria, are other important reasons for the persistent high mortality of this disease.

Our recent experience indicates that this high mortality of liver abscesses can be reduced by utilization of certain techniques introduced in the

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