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Pyogenic liver abscess is a kind of pocket filled with pus, which forms as a result of a bacterial infection or injury. Pus is a fluid which is produced from a combination of white blood cells, dead cells and bacteria, which are formed when the body fight infection.
When appears, pyogenic liver abscess, pus begins to accumulate in the liver without estuary, which usually is accompanied by swelling and inflammation in the area of infection. All this contributes to the emergence of pain and swelling in the area of the abdomen.
A bacterial liver abscess can be a real life-threatening if not treated in time.
The causes of pyogenic liver abscess
Pyogenic liver abscess is caused by a bacterial infection. The primary bacteria that can cause severe infections in our body are:
- Escherichia coli
- Klebisella pneumonia,
- Staphylococcus aureus
The most common reason for the appearance of the bacterial liver abscess is a disease of bile ducts. This disease is a broad term for a variety of conditions that affect the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. Among them, an inflammation of the gallbladder is the most common reason of bile ducts diseases. Other causes that may increase the risk of emergence of the abscess are:
- pancreatic cancer,
- cancer of the colon,
- inflammatory bowel diseases such as inflammation of diverticulitis or perforation.
- blood poisoning – sepsis,
- liver damage.
People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing the disease because they are more susceptible to infections.
The symptoms of pyogenic liver abscess
Pyogenic liver abscess, very often resembles symptomatically, cholecystitis, or a severe infection. They may appear:
- pain in the right side of upper,
- loss of appetite,
- sudden loss of weight – for example, 5 kg within two weeks,
- general weakness,
- dark urine,
- whitish or clay, shade stool,
Diagnosis and treatment of pyogenic liver abscess
Diagnosis begins by combining blood cultures and the evaluation of the medical history of the patient, which allows assessing whether the cause of the symptoms of the ulcer. Locating an abscess and assessment of its size is crucial.
The treatment of bacterial liver abscess may be effective with antibiotics, but often it is also necessary abscess drainage, which comprises the introduction of a needle or catheter into the abscess to remove accumulated pus.
It can then be carried out also a liver biopsy, which will help determine the overall health of the liver.
It is important to prevent the spread of bacteria throughout the body, and therefore the most commonly used treatment is non-surgical. However, if the abscess in an advanced stage, is necessary to perform the procedure, which is connected to several weeks of antibiotic treatment, to avoid the conversion of infection.
Among the possible complications associated with bacterial liver abscess, may occur sepsis (infection battery of the whole body), which causes inflammation and dangerous drop in blood pressure. No rapid medical response in case of sepsis can be fatal for the patient.
Also, a pyogenic liver abscess may result in dehydration of the body and an increased risk of the spread of bacteria throughout the body, which contributes to widespread infection or ulcer formation in other organs.
The bacteria spread throughout the body can cause:
- septic pulmonary embolism when bacteria stimulate clots in one or more of the vessels in the lungs;
- brain abscess – which causes permanent neurological damage;
- endophthalmitis – infection in the inner part of the eye that can lead to blindness.
A bacterial liver abscess can be extremely dangerous for life, therefore in the case of symptoms, you should immediately contact a doctor.