Amoebic liver abscess (patient information)
Amoebic liver abscess Microchapters
Amoebic liver abscess (patient information) On the Web
American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Amoebic liver abscess (patient information)
What causes amoebic liver abscess
- Amebic liver abscess is caused by Entamoeba histolytica.
- This parasite causes amebiasis, an intestinal infection that is also called amebic dysentery.
- After an infection has occurred, the parasite may be carried by the blood from the intestines to the liver.
- The disease spreads from eating food or water that has been contaminated with feces (sometimes due to the use of human waste as fertilizer).
- It is also spread through person-to-person contact.
- The infection occurs worldwide, but is most common in tropical areas where crowded living conditions and poor sanitation exist.
- Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and India have significant health problems from this disease.
What are the symptoms of amoebic liver abscess ?
Symptoms of amoebic liver abscess include:
- Abdominal pain, particularly in the right upper part of the abdomen; pain is intense, continuous or stabbing
- Fever and chills
- Diarrhea (in only one-third of patients)
- General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise)
- Hiccups that do not stop (rare)
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Who is at highest risk for amoebic liver abscess?
The following increases your chances of developing amoebic liver abscess:
- Immunosuppression, including HIV infection
- Old age
- Recent travel to a tropical region
- Steroid use
When to seek urgent medical care?
Call your health care provider if:
- You develop symptoms of amoebic liver abscess, especially if you have recently traveled to an area where the disease is known to occur.
- You have amoebic liver abscess and the symptoms continue despite treatment.
Physical examination of abdomen along with the following tests can help in finding out amoebic liver abscess. Tests that may be done include:
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Abdominal CT scan or MRI
- Complete blood count
- Liver abscess aspiration to check for bacterial infection in the liver abscess
- Liver scan
- Liver function tests
- Blood test for amebiasis
- Stool testing for amebiasis
- Antibiotics such as metronidazole (Flagyl) or tinidazole (Tindamax) are the usual treatment for liver abscess.
- A drug such as paromomycin or diloxanide must also be taken to get rid of all the amoeba in the intestine and to prevent the disease from coming back. This treatment can usually wait until after the abscess has been treated.
- In rare cases, the abscess may need to be drained using a catheter or surgery to relieve some of the abdominal pain.
Where to find medical care for amoebic liver abscess?
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?[edit | edit source]
- Without treatment, the abscess may break open (rupture) and spread into other organs, leading to death.
- People who are treated have a very high chance of a complete cure or only minor complications.
- Rupture of the abscess into the abdominal cavity, the lining of the lungs, the lungs, or the sac around the heart (pericardial sac).
- The infection can also spread to the brain.
- Amoebic liver abscess>https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000211.htm Accessed on March 7, 2017