Hepatobiliary infections

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Abstract

Major hepatobiliary infections include cholangitis and liver abscess. Liver abscess is typically either of pyogenic or amebic origin. Amebic liver abscess usually occurs in individuals from endemic areas or those traveling to endemic areas and is associated with an excellent prognosis if properly managed, usually with one of several antiamebicidal drugs alone. Pyogenic liver abscess is most often cryptogenic in origin, although sophisticated advanced interventional procedures such as transarterial embolization and cryoablation are leading to a new generation of patients with pyogenic liver abscess. A distinct clinical entity appears to be evolving, namely that of monomicrobial Klebsiella pneumoniae pyogenic liver abscess, characterized by the same symptoms and signs as classic pyogenic liver abscess, but further distinguished by the presence of diabetes mellitus, a paucity of coexistent intra-abdominal pathology, a single cavity, and an excellent prognosis. As of 1999, the vast majority of pyogenic liver abscesses should be approached therapeutically by percutaneous aspiration or drainage techniques. The overall prognosis for patients with pyogenic liver abscess is improving, although poor outcomes are common in patients with serious underlying medical disorders, especially malignancy.

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