Liver Abscess: Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Liver Abscess: Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Pus-filled swelling inside the liver is known as a liver abscess. Due to hemogenous spread through the portal vein, common reasons include abdominal conditions like appendicitis or diverticulitis. Additionally, liver damage...


Pus-filled swelling inside the liver is known as a liver abscess. Due to hemogenous spread through the portal vein, common reasons include abdominal conditions like appendicitis or diverticulitis. Additionally, liver damage may cause it to worsen.

The hepatic vein, biliary branch, and portal veins are all used by the infections to enter the liver. The liver may contain several tumors. Pyogenic liver abscesses and amebic liver abscesses are the two main categories into which liver abscesses are generally divided. 

If left untreated, liver abscesses can be fatal and can cause severe health issues. Biliary tract infection can occur in people with a liver abscess owing to the spread of the infection. 

The tissue in the region where a liver abscess is present suffers damage. However, if the pus escapes and spreads the illness, a liver abscess can become a life-threatening condition.


As the illness spreads, it can cause the development of liver abscesses by doing the following:

  • Portal artery (also from pylephlebitis of the portal vein)
  • Metastatic lesions in the hepatic arteries
  • Direct transmission of a close infection


appendix's retroperitoneal expansion (suppurative appendicitis most frequent source of infection)

Liver abscess most often results from ascending biliary inflammation.

Since the right lobe of the liver receives more blood than the caudate or left lobes, it is most frequently affected.


Reticuloendothelial cells (also known as "kupffer cells") in the liver regulate transient portal bacteremia in healthy patients, but in elderly and immunocompromised individuals, the bacteria can overpower the Kupfer cells and result in an abscess.

Gross Pathology

Usually, in the right lobe of the liver, one or more cavities filled with a creamy golden necrotic substance that has a crow-like odor are present.

A fibrous capsule that is a centimeter thick or more and progressively fuses with the liver parenchyma may surround the abscess.

Abscesses in the liver cause

Multiple factors can result in a liver abscess. According to some sources, infections in the gastrointestinal, blood, and abdominal systems are what cause these diseases. The origin of the liver abscess is unknown with certainty. An injury sustained during surgery or liver pain is two additional noteworthy causes of a liver abscess. Among the potential reasons for a liver abscess are:

Infections of the abdomen

Including diverticulitis, appendicitis, and perforated intestine.

Abdominal infections that lead to illnesses like appendicitis are the primary cause first contamination of the blood.

One of the major contributing factors to the development of a liver cyst is a blood infection. Bacteria can occasionally infiltrate the bloodstream and degrade the quality of the blood. The name for this disease is septicemia. 

A Bile-draining Tract Infection

The insertion of a tube into the bile artery is all that is required for bile drainage. When the body's bile ducts are obstructed, this occurs. Additionally, this could result in liver-related issues and a hepatic abscess.

The Bile Draining Passages' Endoscopy

Performing endoscopy on bile draining passages incorrectly can lead to liver abscess issues over time.

Serious signs and symptoms that could be life endangering

If you have a liver abscess, you can quickly identify the condition by simply recognizing the signs listed below:

Sternum Discomfort 

A person may experience a slight chest compression or mild chest discomfort if they are diagnosed with liver abscess disease.

Higher Right Abdominal Pain

As a symptom or indication of a liver abscess, upper right abdominal pain may be felt more frequently.

Colored Like Clay Feces

Stools with a clay color only show when obstructive jaundice is present. Other times, you might see your typical color of dark feces

The thin looks of Beto ark.  might observe that the urine has changed to a dark color.

fever, shivers, and sweats at night

Mild signs of a liver abscess include temperature, chills, and night sweats. 

Nauseous And Puke

During a liver abscess, a person may experience persistent sickness and vomiting issues.

Unintentional Reduction Of Weight

Although this disease may cause a person to lose weight suddenly, not all weight loss issues are caused by liver abscesses.


You might also experience fatigue and agitation. This is a result of the liver abscess's effect on fatigue. 


A liver abscess disease is indicated by jaundice. To determine whether you have a liver infection, you must seek medical attention right away. 

Right shoulder discomfort

The exact right shoulder of your body is giving you discomfort. If a liver abscess condition is identified, this discomfort might also develop.

Liver abscess examinations and exams

There are several ways to examine and test for liver abscesses. 

Problems caused by a pyogenic liver infection

Sepsis, a severe infection that produces severe systemic inflammation, is the primary complication of PLA. A dangerous decrease in blood pressure can result from this. Sepsis can be fatal if it is not quickly treated with antibiotics and intravenous fluid.

Both surgery and PLA drainage run the danger of contaminating every part of your body. Other organs may develop abscesses as a result of this, which could result in extensive infection.

When bacteria are released into the bloodstream and spread there, they can:

  • Brain Abscess, Which Can Result In Long-term Neurological Impairment, Septic Pulmonary Embolism, Which Happens When A Bacterium Causes A Clot In One Or More Arteries In The Lungs
  • Endophthalmitis Is An Infection Of The Eye's Interior That Can Impair Eyesight.

Hepatic Abscess Risk Factors

Numerous things can make you more likely to get a hepatic abscess. However, if you experience even one of the following risk factors, you do have a liver cyst issue:

  • Excessive Alcoholism
  • HIV-related lowered immune system
  • unsuitable diet
  • visiting regions where there are many instances of amebic liver

Risk factors for liver infection generally include:

  • Crohn's illness
  • digestive tract illness
  • abdominal procedure history
  • recent bile drainage tube endoscopy

As additional potential risk factors for liver abscess:

The disease of the bile duct

The gallbladder, bile ducts, and other important organs involved in the production of bile deteriorate due to this disease. 

>50 years old

The likelihood that someone over 50 will develop this illness increases, particularly if they have any liver-related issues.

Cancer at the root

There are significant risk factors associated with malignant cell growth that can result in a liver infection.

Type 2 Diabetes

Due to persistently high blood sugar levels, diabetic mellitus is a serious metabolic disease. 

Among the tests for a hepatic abscess are:

CT image of the abdomen

The detection and evaluation of liver abscess situations involve an abdominal CT scan, also known as a CAT scan. X-rays are used in this imaging technique to capture images of the region around the belly button.

Ultrasonography Of The Abdomen

An examination and evaluation of the organs and tissues of the abdomen using abdominal ultrasound is a medical procedure. Kidney stones, tumors, and liver infections can all be found with its assistance.

Testing For Microbes In Blood Cultures

The bacteria or germs present in the blood can be accurately identified using a blood culture test.

A Full Blood Sample

The CBC test is a medical examination that provides thorough details about the cells that are present in the body. The white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets are all accurately described here. 

The liver test

The purpose of this examination is to identify liver disease. A tiny piece of liver tissue is removed for examination in this procedure.

Studies For Liver Function

Only liver issues can be identified using a liver function test. This examination offers comprehensive details about a person's liver health.

Detection of a liver infection

The following blood and imaging tests will help your doctor or healthcare provider decide whether or not you have a liver abscess.

An abdominal MRI image

Blood tests to look for indications of infectious inflammation, such as elevated neutrophil and serum white blood cell counts

Using abdominal ultrasound, the abscess can be readily found.

A CT scan using intravenous contrast or dye injection for measuring cellulitis.

How To Treat A Liver Infection

Medications or surgery are both options for treating liver tumors. The method of treatment, however, largely relies on how bad the infection is. Only in extreme circumstances, where the harm is greater and conventional medicine is unable to treat it, is surgery advised.

Anyone can develop a liver abscess, so you should seek medical attention right away if you experience any of the following symptoms and think they may be related to a liver abscess. After receiving therapy for an amebic liver abscess, you still run the risk of contracting it again. To prevent a recurrence of the abscess, your doctor may therefore prescribe extra medications to eradicate the intestinal bacteria.

The treatment is also carried out depending on the volume and dimensions of the pus. There are two methods for treating hepatic abscesses:

  • medication-based therapy
  • Surgical treatment

Medication-based Therapy

Oral antibodies of various kinds are administered for the treatment of liver abscesses. Antibodies are recommended after taking the infection's severity, type, and seriousness into account. For liver abscesses, some of the commonly prescribed well-known medications are:

  • Metronidazole (Flagyl)
  • Clindamycin (Zosyn), piperacillin-tazobactam (Amikin), amikacin (Amikin), 
  •  Gentamicin is an example of a combination. (Garamycin)

Surgical treatment

Surgery must be done to treat a disease if it worsens. When prescribed medication fails to provide the desired outcomes, surgery is performed. Only when an abscess can be drained with a needle or a small tube inserted through the abdomen is surgery done. Laparoscopic or percutaneous drainage is the name of the surgical technique used to treat a liver abscess.

The abscess can be drained in a variety of methods. Aspiration is a suggested therapy if the abscess is large enough to burst or oral medications do not work as expected. It is repeated as needed. The abscess is fully drained using aspiration, which involves inserting a syringe needle through the skin into the abscess. 

Sometimes, a procedure is carried out.

What are the possible Differential diagnoses?

Differential diagnosis is the process of analyzing an illness by looking at a person's physical characteristics and medical background. It is the process of separating one illness from another disease and drawing a conclusion, to put it simply. Symptoms of a liver abscess include temperature, hepatitis, and quadrant discomfort. The following are included in the diagnostic diagnosis of liver abscess: 

  • Hepatitis virus

Viral hepatitis is an infection and damage-causing swelling or injury of the liver.

  • Cholecystitis

The infection in the gall bladder is known as cholecystitis. Under the liver is a tiny digestive structure called the gall bladder.

  • Cholangitis

Cholangitis is an inflammation of the bile tract. This particular form of liver illness has the potential to be fatal and morbid.

  • bronchitis in the right lower lung

This specific type of pneumonia is distinguished by inflammatory exudate that covers a significant portion of the lung lobe.

  • Appendicitis

Appendicitis is a painful disease in which the appendix becomes inflamed and abscessed.

  • liver tumors with necrosis

Another liver infection that results in liver swelling and discomfort is necrotic liver masses.

Avoiding hepatic abscess

The state of the liver tumor cannot be forecast in advance. The chance of liver abscess can, however, be reduced by using the following preventative measures. 

  1. Avoid consuming tainted food and drink.
  2. Avoid going to areas with a lot of amebic illnesses.
  3. taking the necessary hygiene precautions to protect yourself from life-threatening infections. 
  4. maintaining culinary hygiene and handwashing customs.
  5. Drink only hot water.
  6. Discreet erotic behavior


For liver abscesses, the outlook has improved. About 2.5-19% of patients die while hospitalized. A worse outlook is associated with advanced age, ICU admissions, shock, cancer, fungi, cirrhosis, chronic renal disease, acute respiratory failure, severe illness, or biliary disease.

To summarise

After learning they have a liver abscess problem, people are prone to panic. Anyone with this condition should think about seeking treatment as soon as feasible by visiting their doctor. Only in extreme cases do liver abscesses result in death; for the most part, issues can be resolved with medication and therapy. To avoid liver abscesses, you must constantly watch and regulate your body.