A prospective study of USG guided pigtail catheter drainage in management of liver abscess

Haresh B. Italiya, Pratik Ranchodbhai Shah, Ajay M. Rajyaguru, Jatin G. Bhatt


Background: Treatment of the liver abscess of any etiology has evolved in the recent years. Percutaneous drainage of liver abscess has been an important advancement in the treatment of pyogenic liver abscesses. Aim: to evaluate and assess response, morbidity and complication rates of percutaneous pig tail catheter drainage in treatment of liver abscess.  

Methods: During a period of 27 months, 25 patients with liquefied liver abscess ≥5x5 cm underwent percutaneous drainage under sonographic guidance.

Results: 18 had solitary abscess, while 7 had multiple abscesses. Pigtail catheters of various sizes (10 F or 12 F) were introduced in these patients using the Seldinger technique. The volume of pus drained ranged from 150 to 400 ml, while the period of catheter drainage ranged from 6 to 17 days. Complications were minor and included catheter blockage in 2 patients and tract pain in 8 patients. There was no mortality associated with this procedure. This study shows a success rate of 96% (successful treatment in 24 out of 25 patients).

Conclusion: Percutaneous catheter drainage of liver abscesses is successful with a low morbidity and mortality and should be the first line of management in liquefied moderate to large sized liver abscesses.



Liver abscess, Pigtail catheter, Percutaneous drainage

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