Aim: Infectious disease represents one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis patients. Extra-renal abscess constitutes a specific form of infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate and analyze the clinical characteristics of extra-renal abscess in chronic hemodialysis patients. Methods: We retrospectively studied the extra-renal abscess among chronic hemodialysis patients in Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The records of 2168 chronic hemodialysis patients from October 1986 to January 2000, were studied. The clinical features were reviewed and analyzed. Results: Sixteen patients who were enrolled during the study period developed extra-renal abscess. Ten of them were male. The mean age was 59.2 ± 11.8 years old. More than half of the patients had diabetes (53.6%, 9/16). The locations of extra-renal abscess in these patients were liver (8/16), lung (5/16), spleen (1/16), perianal region (1/16), psoas muscle (1/16), and prostate (1/16). One patient had concurrent liver and spleen abscesses. All patients presented with fever and chills. Laboratory studies revealed leukocytosis and thrombocytopenia in 2/3 of the patients. The patients were associated with malnutrition status with lower serum albumin level (2.94 ± 0.55 gm/dL) and lower nPCR (normalized protein catabolism rate; 0.84 ± 0.11 gm/Kg/day) comparing to the other hemodialysis patients (albumin: 4.05 ± 0.47 gm/dL; nPCR: 1.14 ± 0.31 gm/kg/day). There was no significant difference in kt/V between the patients with (1.28 ± 0.34) or without abscess formation (1.47 ± 0.36). The major causative pathogen was Klebsiella pneumoniae. Parenteral antibiotic treatment is sufficient to treat most of the diseases, except 2 patients who needed surgical intervention. Twelve patients recovered after 2-3 weeks of treatment. Conclusions: The study indicated that extra-renal abscess is rare in chronic hemodialysis patients. The abscesses occurred mostly in liver. Diabetes mellitus and poor nutrition status were the important predisposing factors. Gram-negative bacilli, K. pneumoniae, were the major pathogen. Most of the patients responded to parenteral antibiotics and surgical draining.
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