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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-20

Outcomes of a conservative approach to management in amoebic liver abscess

Department of General Surgery, K. B. Bhabha Municipal Hospital, Bandra (W), Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
A J Nanavati
Department of General Surgery, K. B. Bhabha Municipal Hospital, Bandra (W), Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.191004

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Context: Unfortunately, there is confusion among the medical community regarding the management of amoebic liver abscess (ALA). Therapeutic options range from simple pharmacotherapy to use of interventions like a needle or catheter aspiration under ultrasound guidance to surgical intervention. There is a plethora of thresholds for parameters such as the maximum diameter of the abscess and volume on ultrasound examination suggested by various authors to serve as a criterion to help to decide when to use which modality in these cases. Aims: To assess the outcome of patients with uncomplicated ALA treated using a conservative approach. Moreover, to identify factors associated with its failure. Settings and Design: A prospective, observational study was carried out at a large municipal urban health care center over a period of 3-year (2011-2014) in India. Materials and Methods: Patients with uncomplicated ALA were recruited. All patients were managed with pharmacotherapy initially for a period of 72 h. Response to treatment was assessed by resolution of symptoms within the given time frame. Failure to respond was considered an indication for intervention. Needle aspiration was offered to these patients and response assessed within 72 h. Failure to respond to aspiration was considered an indication for catheter drainage. Statistical Analysis Used: Data recorded were entered in a Microsoft Office Excel Sheet and analyzed using the SPSS version 16.0 (IBM). Results: Sixty patients with ALA were included in the study over its duration. Forty-nine (81.67%) patients were managed conservatively, while 11 (18.33%) patients needed an intervention for relief. Patients who required intervention had deranged liver function at presentation, a larger abscess diameter (10.09 ± 2.23 vs. 6.33 ± 1.69 cm P < 0.001) and volume (399.73 ± 244.46 vs. 138.34 ± 117.85 ml, P < 0.001) compared to those who did not need it. Patients that required intervention had a longer length of hospital stay (7.1 ± 2.4 vs. 4.8 ± 0.9 days, P < 0.001). On post hoc analysis, a maximum diameter of >7.7 cm was found to be the optimal criterion to predict the need of intervention in cases of ALA. Conclusions: A conservative approach is effective in the management of ALA for a majority of patients. Failure of conservative management was predicted by the size of the abscess (maximum diameter >7.7 cm). Even in the cases of failure, a gradual step-up with interventions was found to be safe and effective.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow