[Skip to Navigation]
March 1978

Amebic Peritonitis Following Rupture of an Amebic Liver Abscess: Successful Treatment of Two Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Drs Wallace and Greenberg), Microbiology and Immunology (Dr Martin), and Surgery (Drs Lau, Kalchoff, and Mangold), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

Arch Surg. 1978;113(3):322-325. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370150094024

We present two successfully treated cases of amebic peritonitis. Acute peritonitis secondary to intra-abdominal rupture of an amebic liver abscess is an infrequent but serious complication of invasive amebiasis. Its diagnosis should be considered in anyone with a suspected liver abscess, jaundice, or diarrhea in whom peritonitis develops. This diagnosis should be further suggested in the United States if the patient is a male and is of Mexican origin in areas where this racial group constitutes the majority of cases of amebic disease. Use of radioisotope liver scans and the demonstration of serum precipitins to Endamoeba histolytica may provide rapid evidence of invasive disease, although surgical intervention is often necessary to make a specific diagnosis. Emetine hydrochloride alone or followed by metronidazole combined with surgical drainage is the current treatment for amebic peritonitis.

(Arch Surg 113:322-325, 1978)