CT appearance of pyogenic liver abscesses caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae

Hind S. Alsaif, Sudhakar K. Venkatesh, Douglas S.G. Chan, Sophia Archuleta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Purpose: To retrospectively compare the computed tomographic (CT) features of liver abscesses caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae with those caused by other bacterial pathogens. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board, with waiver of informed consent. Hospital records of all patients with a diagnosis of liver abscess between July 2003 and July 2010 were retrieved from an electronic hospital database. One hundred and thirty-one consecutive patients with confirmed pyogenic liver abscesses were studied. Data on clinical presentation, comorbid conditions, septic hematogenous complications, hospitalization duration, and abscess-related mortality were obtained. CT characteristics of abscesses including number, distribution, unilocular or multilocular appearance, cystic or solid appearance, gas in cavity, pylephlebitis, thrombophlebitis, and pneumobilia were reviewed. Etiology was established by pus and/or blood culture. Patients were placed into a monomicrobial K pneumoniae liver abscess group and a comparison group. A comparison of the CT features and clinical findings between the two groups was performed. The x 2 analysis or Fisher exact test was used for categorical variables, and Student t and log-rank tests were used for continuous variables. A P value of less than.05 was considered to indicate a significant difference. Results: Monomicrobial K pneumoniae liver abscesses were present in 92 cases (70.2% ). On CT images, characteristics more likely to be associated with monomicrobial K pneumoniae liver abscesses than other pyogenic liver abscesses were a single abscess (79.3% vs 56.4%, P =.01), unilobar involvement (82.6% vs 61.5%, P =.01), solid appearance (57.6% vs 35.9%, P =.03), multilocular (94.6% vs 71.8%, P =.01), association with thrombophlebitis (30.4% vs 5.1%, P < .01), and hematogenous complications (28.3% vs 7.7%, P < .01). Thrombophlebitis was associated with higher incidence of hematogenous septic complications (50.0% vs 13.9%, P < .001). Monomicrobial K pneumoniae liver abscesses were associated with significantly shorter duration of antibiotic treatment(P =.018) and hospital stay(P =.005), but there was no significant difference in incidence of septic shock and abscess-related mortality as compared with other pyogenic liver abscesses. Conclusion: Monomicrobial K pneumoniae liver abscesses appear as single, solid, or multiloculated liver abscesses and are associated with thrombophlebitis and septic hematogenous complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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