Role of Pigtail Catheter Drainage Versus Percutaneous Needle Aspiration in the Management of Liver Abscess: A Retrospective Analysis

Cureus. 2021 Dec 20;13(12):e20528. doi: 10.7759/cureus.20528. eCollection 2021 Dec.


Introduction A liver abscess is an important health concern in tropical countries. Effective management of liver abscesses includes appropriate antibiotics and drainage of the abscess cavity. Percutaneous abscess drainage by pigtail catheterization is now gaining popularity. We analyzed the role of pigtail catheter drainage over percutaneous aspiration in the treatment of liver abscesses. Methods and material This was a retrospective analytical study conducted in a tertiary care center in western India. Patients of age ≥ 18 years admitted with the diagnosis of liver abscess were included in this study. To find the effectiveness of different treatment modalities, data were analyzed in three groups: Group A (Conservative treatment), Group B (Percutaneous needle aspiration), and Group C (Pigtail catheter drainage). Results A total of 64 patients with a liver abscess were analyzed. There was male predominance (93.75%). Mean abscess volume in Group C (307.9 ± 212.8 ml) was significantly higher when compared to Group A (130.8 ± 72.9 ml, p = 0.03) and Group B (177.2 ± 129.5; p = 0.024). The duration of hospital stay and residual abscess volume at the time of discharge did not show a statistically significant difference between treatment groups. Pigtail catheterization of abscesses with volume >150 ml shortened the hospital stay, whereas it prolonged the hospital stay in patients with abscess volume <150 ml. Conclusion Percutaneous pigtail catheterization would be an operative decision for the management of liver abscess. We concluded that the use of pigtail catheterization of patients with abscess volume > 150 ml improved the clinical outcome.

Keywords: amoebic; liver abscess; percutaneous needle aspiration; pigtail catheter drainage; pyogenic.