The changing patterns of liver abscess during the past 20 years--a study of 482 cases.
The diagnostic and treatment modalities of liver abscess have developed rapidly over the past few years but morbidity and mortality has not been markedly reduced. A total of 482 cases of liver abscess admitted to the Yonsei Medical Center over the past 20 years (Jan. 1971-Dec. 1990) were divided into 261 cases from the 1970s and 221 cases from the 1980s and the clinical and laboratory parameters were analyzed comparatively to determine if the clinical features, therapies and prognosis of liver abscess had changed. The proportion of amebic relative to pyogenic liver abscess decreased. Transbiliary infections increased in pyogenic liver abscess of the 1980s. Clinical signs such as jaundice and hepatomegaly and symptom duration before admission decreased. Abnormal laboratory features including hypoalbuminemia and elevation of alkaline phosphatase decreased and increased, respectively, in the 1980s. Ultrasonically guided percutaneous aspiration was the choice of treatment instead of surgical drainage in the 1980s. Despite diagnostic and therapeutic advances in the management of liver abscess, the prognosis has not improved in the 1980s as compared to the 1970s. This may reflect an increase in the incidence of liver abscess in old aged patients and patients with diabetes mellitus or underlying malignancy in the 1980s.
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