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      Treatment of pyogenic liver abscess: prospective randomized comparison of catheter drainage and needle aspiration.

      Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)
      Adult, Catheterization, Drainage, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Length of Stay, Liver Abscess, mortality, therapy, Male, Needles, Prospective Studies, Suction, Suppuration, Treatment Outcome

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          This study aims to compare the therapeutic effectiveness of continuous catheter drainage versus intermittent needle aspiration in the percutaneous treatment of pyogenic liver abscesses. Over a 5-year period, 64 consecutive patients with pyogenic liver abscess were treated with intravenous antibiotics (ampicillin, cefuroxime, and metronidazole) and randomized into two percutaneous treatment groups: continuous catheter drainage (with an 8F multi-sidehole pigtail catheter); and intermittent needle aspiration (18G disposable trocar needle). There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups regarding patient demographics, underlying coexisting disease, abscess size, abscess number, number of loculation of abscess, the presenting clinical symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, and pretreatment liver function test. Although not statistically significant, the duration of intravenous antibiotics treatment before percutaneous treatment was longer with the catheter group, and the change of antibiotics after the sensitivity test was more frequent with the needle group. The needle group was associated with a higher treatment success rate, a shorter duration of hospital stay, and a lower mortality rate, although this did not reach statistical significance. In conclusion, this study suggests that intermittent needle aspiration is probably as effective as continuous catheter drainage for the treatment of pyogenic liver abscess, although further proof with a large-scale study is necessary. Due to the additional advantages of procedure simplicity, patient comfort, and reduced price, needle aspiration deserves to be considered as a first-line drainage approach.

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