Causes and Treatment for Amoebic Liver Abscess In Children

Amoebic liver abscess in children is most common in countries with tropical conditions, such as Southeast Asia and Africa. It is also called hepatic amoebiasis, extraintestinal amoebiasis or amebic liver.

Signs of Amoebic Liver Abscess in Children

  • Significant pain in the abdominal area, particularly on the right upper part
  • Abdominal pain is characterized by an intense stabbing motion.
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Chills, fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Jaundice
  • General discomfort
  • When lungs or chest are infected, symptoms may include chest pain, productive cough and difficulty of breathing.

Who Are At Risk of Liver Abscess Aside from Children?

Liver abscess can occur among people of all ages, with these risk factors involved:

  • Alcoholism
  • Old age
  • Use of steroids
  • Malnutrition
  • Cancer
  • Contamination from travel to tropical countries

Liver Abscess Causes

  • The parasite, entamoeba histolytica, is the main cause of liver abscess.
  • Apart from liver, tissues outside the intestines are the areas most affected by this infection.
  • The ameobic cysts found in human wastes may contaminate food and water, which can be transmitted through contact from one infected person to another.
  • The parasite is the same type that causes amoebiasis.
  • Liver abscess is rarely reported in the United States.
    Significant number of cases prevails in countries with warm, tropical climates.

Liver Abscess Treatment

  • Patients suspected of having liver abscess must first undergo numerous tests such as abdominal ultrasound, CT Scan of the abdomen, blood tests, liver function tests, serology and stool testing.
  • Treatment entails specific anti-amoebic therapy with drainage of the pus through needle aspiration.
  • A combination of emetine hydrochloride or dehydroemetine with metronidazole is the recommended medication for children.
  • The most common home-care medications prescribed to children with liver abscess are acetaminophen, naproxen and ibuprofen to relieve pain and fever.
  • Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS are only given under the guidance of a doctor.
  • Parents must remember to follow the package instructions when administering medicines to children.
  • Children with liver, stomach or kidney problems are not advised to take naproxen, acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
  • Prognosis for children with liver abscess is high, if given the proper treatment. There are lesser risks of minor complications as well.
  • The abscess may rupture and infect other organs, if there is no immediate medication or treatment. It could lead to fatal results.

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