Gaskin, D. A. ; Bodonaik, Nabin C. ; Williams, Nadia P.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Pathology
Hepatic Abscesses at the University Hospital of the West Indies. A 24-year Autopsy Review
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
A retrospective review of all hepatic abscesses identified at autopsy over the 24-year period 1977-2000 at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Kingston, Jamaica, was conducted. Post mortem and microbiology records were reviewed. Data collected included age, gender, predisposing factors, organisms isolated, number of abscesses and associated conditions, such as diabetes mellitus. Data for the adults was analyzed separately. Thirty-nine cases of pyogenic abscesses were identified from 7480 post-mortems. Thirty-three occurred in adults of mean age 59.5 years. Sixty per cent of the abscesses were solitary. Biliary tract disease was the predisposing factor in 33% of cases. Six per cent were cryptogenic: 11/33 patients were diabetic and these were significantly older than non-diabetics (p < 0.014) Klebsiella pneumoniae was the most common organism isolated from diabetics (6.9). Only 2/33 abscesses were diagnosed ante-mortem. The abscesses in children were more frequently multiple and associated with extra-abdominal infection. Gram positive cocci were the commonly isolated organisms in children. There were no cases of amoebic abscess. The prevalence of hepatic abscess was low. Diabetes mellitus was a significant contributing factor. A high index of clinical suspicion is therefore warranted particularly in elderly diabetics.....