Clinical characteristics and prognostic factors of splenic abscess: a review of 67 cases in a single medical center of Taiwan

World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jan 21;12(3):460-4. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i3.460.


Aim: To analyze 67 cases of splenic abscess in a medical center of Taiwan during a period of 19 years.

Methods: From January 1986 to December 2004, a total of 67 patients with splenic abscess were enrolled for the retrospective study. The clinical characteristics, underlying diseases, organism spectra, therapeutic methods, APACHE II scores, and mortality rates were analyzed.

Results: There were 41 males and 26 females with the mean age of 54.1+/-14.1 years. Multiple splenic abscesses (MSA) account for 28.4% and solitary splenic abscess in 71.6% of the patients. Twenty-six of sixty-seven patients (35.8%) had extrasplenic abscesses, with leading site of liver (34.6%). Microbiological cultures were positive in 58 patients (86.6%), with 71.8% in blood culture and 93.5% in abscess culture. Gram negative bacillus (GNB) infection predominated (55.2%), with leading pathogen of Klebsiella pneumoniae (22.4%), followed by gram positive coccus (GPC) infection (31%). Splenectomy was performed in 26 patients (38.8%), percutaneous drainage or aspiration in 21 (31.3%), and antibiotic therapy alone in 20 patients (29.9%). Eventually, 12 of 67 patients expired (17.9 %). By statistics, spleen infected with GNB was likely to develop multiple abscesses compared with infection with GPC (P=0.036). Patients with GNB infection (P=0.009) and multiple abscesses (P=0.011) experienced a higher mortality rate than patients with GPC infection and solitary abscess. The mean APACHE II score of 12 expired patients (16.3+/-3.2) was significantly higher than that of the 55 survivals (7.2+/-3.8) (P<0.001).

Conclusion: MSA, GNB infection, and high APACHE II scores are poor prognostic factors. Early surgical intervention should be encouraged when these risk factors are present.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Abscess / diagnosis
  • Abdominal Abscess / etiology
  • Abdominal Abscess / microbiology
  • Abdominal Abscess / physiopathology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Splenic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Splenic Diseases / etiology
  • Splenic Diseases / microbiology
  • Splenic Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Taiwan