Risk Factors, Management, and Outcomes of Pyogenic Liver Abscess in a US Safety Net Hospital

V. V.P.K. Mukthinuthalapati, Bashar M. Attar, L. Parra-Rodriguez, Nicolo L. Cabrera, Tiago Araujo, Seema Gandhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: The causes and management of pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) have undergone multiple changes over the past decades. It is a relatively rare disease in the USA, and its incidence rate in the USA is increasing. The last US community hospital experience of PLA was published in 2005. We performed a retrospective study of patients admitted with PLA to an urban safety net hospital. Aims: To ascertain risk factors, management approaches, and outcomes of PLA. Methods: Electronic medical record was queried for diagnosis codes related to PLA during the years 2009–2018. Clinical information was compiled in an electronic database which was later analyzed. Main study outcomes were in-hospital mortality, 30-day readmission rate, and intensive care utilization rate. Results: A total of 77 patients with PLA were admitted in the study period. Most common risk factors were diabetes mellitus (23.4%), previous liver surgery (20.7%), and hepatic malignancy (16.9%). 89% of patients were treated with percutaneous drainage or aspiration, and surgical drainage was reserved for other with other indications for laparotomy. In-hospital mortality, 30-day readmission, and intensive care utilization rates were 2.6%, 7% and 22%, respectively. Median length of stay was 11 days (inter-quartile range 7). Rate of antimicrobial resistance in abscess fluid cultures was 40%; 13 cases of Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess were noted in our cohort, most of whom were Hispanic or Asian. Conclusions: PLA was principally managed by percutaneous drainage or aspiration with good outcomes. Further studies investigating the racial predilection of K. pneumoniae liver abscesses could reveal clues to its pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1529-1538
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Drainage
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Liver abscess
  • Pyogenic


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