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Liver abscess

Abstract

A liver abscess is a pus-filled mass inside the liver. Common causes are abdominal conditions such as appendicitis or diverticulitis due to haematogenous spread through the portal vein.

Causes

Major bacterial causes of liver abscess include the following:

- "Streptococcus" species (including "Enterococcus")

- "Escherichia" species

- "Staphylococcus" species

- "Klebsiella" species (Higher rates in the Far East)

- Anaerobes (including "Bacteroides" species)

- "Pseudomonas" species

- "Proteus" species

However, as noted above, many cases are polymicrobial.

Diagnosis | Types

There are three major forms of liver abscess, classified by cause:

- Pyogenic liver abscess, which is most often polymicrobial, accounts for 80% of hepatic abscess cases in the United States.

- Amoebic liver abscess due to "Entamoeba histolytica" accounts for 10% of cases.

- Fungal abscess, most often due to "Candida" species, accounts for less than 10% of cases.