Background: The non-operative management of blunt liver trauma can be applied in almost 80% of patients with this type of injury, with the advantages of the need for fewer blood transfusions, less intra-abdominal sepsis, and a better survival rate, than with the operative approach. However, liver abscess, as a known complication of the non-operative management of blunt liver trauma, is discussed infrequently. Therefore, we herein review our experience and describe this complication in detail. Materials and methods: From 1995 to 2001, 674 patients were admitted to our hospital due to blunt hepatic trauma. Among these patients, 279 underwent laparotomy and the remaining 395 patients were treated non-operatively. Twenty-two patients were identified as having liver abscess, with 16 of them belonging to the operative group, and six to the non-operative group. A retrospective review of these six patients and their characteristics, as well as pathogenesis, diagnosis, and the management of the liver abscesses, was conducted. Results: These six patients were all male, with a median age of 19.5 years (range 3-24). The median injury severity score was 16.5 (range 9-25); three patients sustained grade-3 hepatic injury, and the other three were grade 4. The main diagnostic tool was abdominal computed tomography, and the abscesses took a median of 6 days (range 1-12) to form and be diagnosed. The abscesses were usually caused by infection from mixed organisms, and an abscess resulting from Clostridium infection developed within 1 day after injury. These abscesses were treated with antibiotics and drainage, and the median length of hospital stay was 26 days (range 8-44), without mortality or long-term morbidity. Conclusion: Liver abscess as a complication of the non-operative management of blunt hepatic trauma is a rare entity, with an incidence of 1.5% (6/395). It is usually seen in severe liver injury (grade 3 and above), but all our patients were all treated successfully, with no mortality. However, prolonged hospitalization may be required in this patient group.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2003|
- Abdominal injuries
- Liver abscess
- Non-penetrating wounds
ASJC Scopus subject areas