Definition and Meaning of a Liver Abscess

what is a liver abscess?

Liver abscess is nothing but a pus filled cyst, formed inside the liver. A liver is a major organ found in the human digestive system, which carries out digestion coupled with many other essential processes. The major functionalities of your liver includes

a) Producing bile, which breaks down your food components into glucose and energy

b) Producing healthier hormones, which promote healthy functioning of your body, as such

c) Cleaning up toxins present in your blood arising from medication, drugs or alcohol

d) Helps control production of fat and cholesterol

e) Most importantly cleaning your blood and circulating the same, throughout your body.

An abscess, as said earlier is a pus infected cyst or series of cysts affecting your liver. A liver abscess can also develop as a result of a surgery or a trauma to the liver, as such.

Types of Liver Abscesses

There are basically three types of liver abscesses that can cause infection to your liver, as such. These are

A bacterial infection leading to formation of abscesses, inside your liver. These account for more than 80% of the occurring liver abscesses. Also known as Pyogenic Liver Abscess.

Microscopic organisms namely the Amoebas, can cause Amoebic dysentery. These organisms can also infect the liver causing abscesses, known as Amoebic Liver Abscess.

Other parasites can also form abscesses inside your liver. This disorder is named a Parasitic Liver Abscess

Causes for developing a liver abscess

A brief run-down on possible causes for formation of abscesses, inside your liver

Bacterial infection formed in bile draining tubes

Infections caused in your abdomen on account of a perforated bowel or appendicitis

Blood-stream infections

Endoscopy of the bile, detecting another form of dis-order can sometimes lead to infections, turning into abscesses

An amoebic dysentery can lead to infections inside your liver

An accident or a trauma caused directly to your liver

Symptoms for patients diagnosed with Liver Abscess

These are the general symptoms, just in case you have abscesses formed in your liver as such. They are

Pain in the upper most right side of your abdomen


Clay colored stools

Fever/Chills- Fever can be higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit


Joint pain

Loss of appetite

Incessant decrease in weight

Nausea coupled with vomiting

Chest pain

Yellowing of skin and eyes (Leading to jaundice)

Diagnosis for a Liver Abscess

These are the diagnostic evaluations to check if there is a bacterial abscess, formed in your liver or not

1) A CT scan, in order to discover the location of the abscess

2) Blood tests help the doctor check the count of an increase in white blood cells, and high neutrophil level, to check for an abscess.

3) Ultrasound helps you check for an abscess, in the upper right quadrant.

Treatment options for an abscess

The main course of treatment for a liver abscess is by draining out the pus found in the abscess. This is done both via medication as well as surgical methods. In case of an amoebic abscess, for instance, drugs are prescribed to kill the amoebas, present in the intestines.

Laparoscopic method of treatment

The surgery involves draining out the abscess with a needle or a small tube, inserted into the abdomen. This method of draining out the abscess is also known as the percutaneous drainage.

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