Percutaneous and surgical treatment of pyogenic liver abscesses: Observation over a 21-year period in 148 patients

G. Ferraioli, A. Garlaschelli, D. Zanaboni, R. Gulizia, E. Brunetti, F. P. Tinozzi, C. Cammà, C. Filice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Percutaneous drainage of pyogenic liver abscess has become first-line treatment. In the past surgical drainage was preferred in some centres. Aim: The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the effectiveness of percutaneous treatments and surgical drainage, in terms of treatment success, hospital stay and costs. Patients: Data of 148 patients (90 males; 58 females; mean age, 61 yrs; range, 30-86 yrs) were retrospectively analysed. Methods: Patients' outcomes, including the length of hospital stay, procedure-related complications, treatment failure and death, were recorded. Multiple logistic regression model was used for statistical analysis. Results: One hundred and four patients (83 with solitary and 21 with multiple abscesses) were treated percutaneously, either by needle aspiration (91 patients) or catheter drainage (13 patients) depending on the abscess's size, and 44 patients (30 with solitary and 14 with multiple abscesses) were treated surgically. There was no statistically significant difference in patients' demographics or abscess characteristics between groups. Hospital stay was longer, and costs were higher in patients treated surgically (p <0.001). There was statistically significant difference in morbidity rate between groups (p <0.001). No death occurred in both groups. Conclusions: Percutaneous and surgical treatment of pyogenic liver abscesses are both effective, nevertheless percutaneous drainage carries lower morbidity and is cheaper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-696
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • Drainage
  • Interventional procedure
  • Liver
  • Liver abscess
  • Retrospective studies
  • Treatment outcome
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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