Complications Of Pyogenic Liver Abscess: Causes And Treatment

A pyogenic liver abscess is a pouch of pus which develops in the liver because of bacterial infection. The pus is chiefly composed of WBCs and dead cells which form when the body battles the infection. Instead of draining from the site of the infection, this pus tends to build up in a pouch in the liver. There is swelling and inflammation in the liver and surrounding structures along with pain in the abdomen.

Pyogenic liver abscess symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • White stool
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fever with chills
  • Pain in the right side of the abdomen.
  • Radical and sudden weight loss.

Commonest Cause Of Pyogenic Liver Abscess

The commonest for the development of a pyogenic liver abscess is biliary disease – i.e. disease of the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.

Other causes include:

  • Septicemia
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Trauma to the liver.
  • Cancer of the pancreas.
  • Cancer of the colon.
  • Bacteria from a ruptured appendix form the abscess.
  • Those diagnosed with diabetes mellitus are at a greater risk given that, they’re more vulnerable to infection.

Complications And Treatment Of Pyogenic Liver Abscess

  • Prompt and early diagnosis is a must; neglect and delay in treatment can be fatal.
  • Some people are treated successfully with antibiotics alone. However, the abscess needs to be drained.
    A needle is introduced and a drainage catheter is placed in to the abscess to get rid of the infection-containing pus.
  • Your surgeon may carry out a liver biopsy simultaneously by taking a sample of your liver tissue. It helps him determine and evaluate the overall health of your liver. Invasive diagnostic and interventional techniques are carried out via CT scan or ultrasound guidance.
  • By and large, doctors try to manage the case without surgical intervention, if possible in order to avert the risk of bacteria spreading through the body. On the other hand, in severe cases, surgical intervention is very necessary to fully eliminate the abscess material.
  • After the surgery, you will be prescribed antibiotics for several weeks to remove the infection completely. Usually, health care providers give intravenous antibiotics followed by oral antibiotics to successfully treat pyogenic liver abscess. The preliminary course of intravenous antibiotics assists in the early healing process. After you’ve had a good response to the surgery and IV antibiotic therapy, you need oral antibiotics for several weeks.
  • Follow your treatment routine well; follow up visits to the doctor are mandatory.
  • The chief complication of a pyogenic liver abscess is sepsis – a severe infection which sets off severe systemic inflammation. It can cause a dangerous decrease in your blood pressure. If not treated quickly and without delay with antibiotics and IV fluid, sepsis can be fatal.
  • Pyogenic liver abscess drainage and surgery are fraught with a risk of spreading bacteria throughout the body. It could cause formation of abscesses in other organs of the body.
  • Septic pulmonary embolism is another dangerous complication, which develops when bacteria stimulate a clot in an artery in the lungs.
  • Another grave complication is brain abscess, which can cause permanent neurological impairment.
  • Endophthalmitis an infection in the inner aspect of your eye is also a frequently seen complication which causes loss of vision.