Amebic Liver/Hepatic Abscesses Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Oct 15, 2019
  • Author: Daniel Matei Brailita, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Important considerations

Persistence of cavity alone after therapy, without associated signs and symptoms, does not indicate the need for repeating antibiotic therapy. (See Prognosis.)

The cavitary lesions of amebic liver abscess and hepatocellular carcinoma can be confused, particularly in areas of the world where the frequency of both conditions is high.

The absence of a rapid response to medical therapy warrants further diagnostic evaluation to rule out pyogenic abscess or hepatoma.

Failure to use luminal agents after tissue amebicides can lead to relapse of infection in approximately 10% of patients.

Special concerns

Treat women who develop hepatic amebiasis during pregnancy with metronidazole, although some theoretical risks are involved. No adverse outcomes have been reported in a long-term follow-up study of pregnant women given metronidazole for trichomoniasis.

Other problems to be considered

When evaluating patients with suspected amebic hepatic abscesses, also consider the following conditions:

  • Hepatitis

  • Pneumonia

  • Pulmonary disease

Differential Diagnoses