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Liver abscesses in the Western pediatric population

Journal Volume 85 - 2022
Issue Fasc.3 - Original articles
Author(s) L. Grossar 1, I. Hoffman 2, E. Sokal 3, X. Stéphenne 3, P. Witters 4
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Full Article
PAGES 439-445
(1) Department of Pediatrics, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
(2) Department of Pediatric Gastro-Enterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
(3) Department of Pediatric Gastro-Enterology, Hepatology and Liver Transplantation, Cliniques Universitaires Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
(4) Department of Paediatrics, Metabolic Disease Center, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium. Department of Development and Regeneration, Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Background and study aims: Liver abscesses are rare in the Western pediatric population and data on predisposing factors and etiology are scarce. We aimed to describe predisposing factors, microbiological characteristics, and treatment.

Patients and methods: Retrospective analysis of children admitted to two tertiary care hospitals in Belgium from 1 January 1996 to 31 December 2019. We analyzed clinical features, predisposing factors, imaging characteristics, microbiological data, treatment, and outcome in children with a liver abscess and compared these data with the literature.

Results: We collected 24 cases with a male to female ratio of 1.4 and a median age of 3.2 years at time of diagnosis. Survival was 95.8%. Invasive culture specimens were obtained in 83.3% and showed growth of bacteria in 55%. Parenteral antibiotics were administered before invasive culture sampling in 80%. Liver abscesses were cryptogenic in four (16.7%) patients. Hepatobiliary disease was the most prevalent predisposing factor (n = 6; 25%), followed by recent antineoplastic therapy for malignancies (n = 5; 20.8%), intra-abdominal surgical pathology (n = 4; 16.7%) and umbilical venous catheters (n = 2; 8.3%). In two patients there was a parasitic origin (n = 2; 8.3%) and in one it was caused by Bartonellosis. There was no diagnosis of chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) in our cohort.

Conclusions: Pediatric liver abscesses have a favorable outcome in the developed world. Whenever feasible, invasive abscess culture specimens should be obtained. In patients presenting with a cryptogenic liver abscess or atypical disease course, immunological workup should be ensured.

Keywords: predisposing factors, microbiology, treatment.

© Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica.
PMID 35833905