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Many pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) patients underwent abdominal surgery before. However, little is known about the impact of previous abdominal surgery on the clinical characteristics and prognosis of PLA.The clinical data of 392 adult PLA patients who received treatment at our hospital from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2016 were collected. The demographic data, cause, comorbidities, surgery history, clinical features, laboratory results, imaging findings, microbiological characteristics, choices of treatment, and clinical outcomes were analyzed.In all, 177 PLA patients (45.2%) underwent abdominal surgery before. The median time for the occurrence of PLA after the most recent abdominal surgery was 2.0 (interquartile range 0.25, 6.0) years. PLA patients with a previous abdominal surgery history were more likely to have underlying diseases and presented with more abnormal laboratory values. Klebsiella pneumonia and Escherichia coli were the most common pathogens. Previous abdominal surgery appeared to increase the incidence of E coli. More PLA patients without a previous abdominal surgery history required surgical drainage. However, there were no differences in PLA-related complications, days required for temperature normalization, and length of hospital stay between the 2 groups.Because a large number of PLA patients had a history of abdominal surgery, and proper screening should be performed for patients with any suspicion of a liver abscess after abdominal surgery. Despite the differences in the coexisting conditions, clinical and microbiological characteristics between PLA patients with and without a previous abdominal surgery history, the overall short-term outcomes were comparable.