Amoebic liver abscess laboratory findings

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1];Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Yamuna Kondapally, M.B.B.S[2]


Laboratory tests consistent with diagnosis of amoebic liver abscess include complete blood count, ESR, C-reactive protein, liver function tests, and stool examination.[1][2][3][4]

Laboratory Findings

Laboratory tests consistent with diagnosis of amoebic liver abscess include:[1]

Lab Test Findings
Complete blood picture
ESR and CRP Elevated ESR and C-reactive protein[2]
Liver function tests Acute infection[3][4]

Chronic infection

Hyperbilirubinemia and hypoalbuminemia is more common in amoebic liver abscess.[5]

Stool examination Microscopic stool examination for cysts

Examination for trophozoites

  • As the trophozoites are very sensitive and may be excreted intermittently, at least three fresh specimens are taken.
  • A combination of iodine-stained concentrates, trichome-stained preparations, and wet mount are used.
  • Trophozoites must be differentiated with neutrophils.

Findings suggestive of amoebic colitis include:

  • Charcot-leyden crystal protein
  • Positive test for heme
  • A paucity of neutrophils


  1. 1.0 1.1 Tanyuksel M, Petri WA (2003). "Laboratory diagnosis of amebiasis". Clin Microbiol Rev. 16 (4): 713–29. PMC 207118. PMID 14557296.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Blessmann J, Binh HD, Hung DM, Tannich E, Burchard G (2003). "Treatment of amoebic liver abscess with metronidazole alone or in combination with ultrasound-guided needle aspiration: a comparative, prospective and randomized study". Trop Med Int Health. 8 (11): 1030–4. PMID 14629771.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nazir Z, Moazam F (1993). "Amebic liver abscess in children". Pediatr Infect Dis J. 12 (11): 929–32. PMID 8265284.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Thompson JE, Glasser AJ (1986). "Amebic abscess of the liver. Diagnostic features". J Clin Gastroenterol. 8 (5): 550–4. PMID 3782753.
  5. Lodhi S, Sarwari AR, Muzammil M, Salam A, Smego RA (2004). "Features distinguishing amoebic from pyogenic liver abscess: a review of 577 adult cases". Trop Med Int Health. 9 (6): 718–23. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2004.01246.x. PMID 15189463.
  6. Johnson JL, Baird JS, Hulbert TV, Opas LM (1994). "Amebic liver abscess in infancy: case report and review". Clin Infect Dis. 19 (4): 765–7. PMID 7803646.