Background: Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess has been described frequently in patients residing in Asian countries. With the advent of immigration, this disease has become more common in certain hospitals in the United States, based upon the demographics of their patient populations.
Methods: We reviewed laboratory and clinical data for patients admitted to a municipal hospital in Queens, New York from 2000 to 2007 via a retrospective chart review.
Results: Of the 56 cases of pyogenic liver abscess reviewed, 20 cases were secondary to Klebsiella pneumoniae, verified via radiographic imaging plus positive blood culture or liver aspiration culture. Of these cases, 60% of patients were of Asian descent. Liver drainage appeared to be the most important modality of treatment. Choice of antibiotics and duration of treatment varied greatly depending upon whether an infectious disease consultant was called or not.
Conclusions: The majority of community-acquired Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess occurred in patients of Asian descent. Many of these patients have not resided in their country of origin for quite some time. In hospitals serving large Asian populations, this diagnosis must be considered and appropriate work-up for metastatic complications should be provided promptly.