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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 178-180

Community-acquired pseudomonas aeruginosa liver abscess with portal vein thrombosis in a child

1 Department of Pediatrics, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Sion, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and General Hospital, Sion, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication9-Jun-2014

Correspondence Address:
Syed Ahmed Zaki
Room no. 509, New Resident Medical Officers Quarters, Sion, Mumbai - 400 022, Maharashtra
Syed Ahmed Zaki
Room no. 509, New Resident Medical Officers Quarters, Sion, Mumbai - 400 022, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5151.134186

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Pseudomonas aeruginosa is usually considered a relatively rare pathogen of pyogenic liver abscess in healthy children. A 3-year-old girl presented with fever, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Ultrasonography of the abdomen showed multiple liver abscesses. During her stay in hospital, she developed portal vein thrombosis, hepatic encephalopathy, and multiorgan dysfunction. Her blood culture and pus culture grew pseudomonas aeruginosa. She was started on intravenous antibiotics and supportive treatment. Ultrasound guided aspiration was done and a pigtail catheter was inserted. However, she did not respond to the treatment and died on the 14 th day of admission. The immune work up of the patient was normal. Through this case, we wish to highlight this unusual case of community-acquired pseudomonas aeruginosa liver abscess in a previously healthy child. Clinicians should be aware of this association for early diagnosis and timely management.

Keywords: Children, community-acquired, liver abscess, portal vein thrombosis, pseudomonas aeruginosa

How to cite this article:
Zaki SA, Khade A, Zaki SA, Khade A. Community-acquired pseudomonas aeruginosa liver abscess with portal vein thrombosis in a child. Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci 2014;4:178-80

How to cite this URL:
Zaki SA, Khade A, Zaki SA, Khade A. Community-acquired pseudomonas aeruginosa liver abscess with portal vein thrombosis in a child. Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Dec 7];4:178-80. Available from: https://www.ijciis.org/text.asp?2014/4/2/178/134186

   Introduction Top

Although, liver abscesses have been recognized since the time of Hippocrates in 400 B.C., they still remain an important diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. [1] Children with liver abscess constitute about 25-79 per 100,000 pediatric admissions in world. [2] Most of the liver abscess are pyogenic with Staphylococcus being the commonest organism. The incidence of pseudomonas aeruginosa liver abscess (PALA) is around 2-6%. [3] Patients with PALA usually have an underlying chronic medical condition or a risk factor for Pseudomonas infection such as immunosuppressive drugs or disease. [4] We describe a rare case of rapidly progressive community-acquired PALA with portal vein thrombosis in a previously healthy child.

   Case Report Top

A 3-year-old female presented with high-grade fever and abdominal pain for 4 days, and non-bilious vomiting for 1 day. There were no bladder/bowel complaints, cough, cold, altered sensorium, convulsion, or icterus. The child was previously healthy with no past admissions. Birth and perinatal history were normal. On admission, she was febrile with a heart rate 130/min, respiratory rate 44/min, and blood pressure 98/60 mmHg. Mild pallor was present. There was no icterus or edema. Liver was tender with a span of 10 cm in the midclavicular line. Bowel sounds were sluggish. Rest of the systemic examination was normal. She was started on intravenous fluids and ceftriaxone. Investigations on the day of admission are shown in [Table 1]. Patient developed icterus and had one episode of generalized tonic-clonic convulsion lasting for about 10 min on the 2 nd day of admission. Her sensorium became altered after the convulsion. Ultrasonography (USG) of abdomen done on the second day of admission revealed: 3.6 × 3.7 × 4 cm abscess in segment VII of right lobe, 3.3 × 3.6 × 3.5 cm sized abscess in segment II of left lobe, mild ascitis, and bilateral mild pleural effusion. As the abscesses had not liquefied, pediatric surgeons advised conservative management. Correction for hyponatremia, intravenous metronidazole, and calcium gluconate were started. Cerebrospinal fluid examination and computed tomography (CT) scan of brain were normal. Blood culture showed Pseudomonas aeruginosa sensitive to piperacillin, amikacin, and ciprofloxacin. Accordingly, the antibiotics were changed to piperacillin-tazobactum and amikacin on the 5 th day. Syrup lactulose and oral ampicillin were added. On the 7 th day, sensorium further worsened with increase in abdominal distension. Investigations on the 7 th day are shown in [Table 1]. Packed cell transfusion and fresh frozen plasma transfusion were given. Ascitic fluid examination showed: 1,020 cells (80% neutrophils, 20% lymphocytes), protein 4.8 g%. Serial USG of the abdomen were done every alternate day to monitor the liver abscesses. USG on the 7 th day showed increase in the size of previous liver abscesses with liquefaction and several new small abscesses throughout the liver parenchyma. USG guided aspiration was done. However, on the 8 th day, the abscess in segment II ruptured and a pigtail catheter was inserted. CT scan of the abdomen showed: Hepatomegaly with multiple varying sized peripherally enhancing hypodense lesion noted in the liver parenchyma with the largest being in segment VII measuring 5.1 × 4.9 × 4.3 cm, gross ascitis, mild splenomegaly, and portal vein filing defect at pancreatic head region suggestive of thrombosis [Figure 1], [Figure 2], and [Figure 3]. Subcutaneous low molecular weight heparin was started. Cultures of the pus revealed Pseudomonas aeruginosa with a similar sensitivity pattern. However, patient continued to deteriorate, went into multiorgan dysfunction, and was ventilated on the 10 th day of admission. Inotropes were started for the septic shock. Repeat blood cultures on the 10 th day also revealed Pseudomonas aeruginosa with a similar sensitivity pattern. Human immunodeficiency virus testing by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was negative. Work up for primary immunodeficiency was done which was normal (complete blood count, absolute neutrophils count, mean platelet volume, lymphocyte subset analysis, serum immunoglobulin levels, and nitroblue tetrazolium test). On the 14 th day, despite all resuscitative measures, patient died of septic multiorgan failure.
Figure 1: Computed tomography scan of abdomen showing multiple, hypodense, cystic lesions of varying sizes scattered throughout liver parenchyma s/o abscesses

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Figure 2: Computed tomography scan of abdomen showing two large abscesses in liver; (a) segment II of left lobe and (b) segment VII of right lobe

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Figure 3: Computed tomography scan of abdomen showing filling defect in portal vein at pancreatic head region s/o thrombosis

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Table 1: Serial investigations during the course of hospital stay

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   Discussion Top

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is widespread in the environment and is usually regarded as a trivial commensal of the skin, mucous membranes, and intestinal tract. [5] Community-acquired Pseudomonas infections are rare and usually mild. There are only a few published reports of severe Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections occurring in previously healthy persons. [6] A PubMed search done in children (0-18 years) with keywords 'Pseudomonas aeruginosa' and 'liver abscess' revealed only one case of community-acquired PALA in a previously healthy child. [4] The authors have described a previously healthy 1.5-year-old boy who presented with fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. He had a liver abscess at right hepatic lobe. USG-guided aspiration and a 4-week course of antibiotics were given. The lesion resolved completely without complication. In contrast, our patient had multiple liver abscesses, developed portal vein thrombosis, and had a fulminant course. Pyogenic liver abscess commonly present with fever, anorexia, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Rare presentations include unexplained anemia, cough, breathlessness, pyrexia of unknown origin, or fulminant sepsis. [2] The mortality rate in patients with PALA is approximately four times as compared to those having liver abscess due to other organism. [7] Hence, clinicians should have a high index of suspicion for this uncommon diagnosis, particularly when patients present without features pointing to hepatic pathology.

The various complications of pyogenic liver abscess are: Pleural/pericardial effusion, pneumonitis, fistula, Budd-Chiari syndrome, peritonitis, and hemobilia. Risk factors for complications include presence of jaundice, large/multiple abscess, acute abdomen, liver failure, and sepsis. [2] As seen in our case, left lobe abscesses are frequently associated with complications and require drainage more often than right lobe abscess. [8],[9] Appropriate antibiotics, supportive therapy, and percutaneous drainage form the mainstay of the management. [2],[3] Surgical drainage is reserved for patients who have failed percutaneous drainage, have multiple macroscopic abscess, and who require management for an underlying abdominal problem. [2] USG is the imaging modality of choice. CT scan is more sensitive for detecting smaller abscesses. Recurrences can take place, with most occurring within 3 months of treatment. [2],[10] Underlying immunodeficiency should be suspected in such cases.

   Conclusion Top

In conclusion, we report the second case of community-acquired PALA in a previously healthy child. Although rarely described in literature, clinicians should be aware of this association as timely diagnosis and early intervention can affect the outcome significantly.

   Acknowledgement Top

We would like to thank the Dean of our institute for permitting us to publish this manuscript.

   References Top

1.Kar P, Kapoor S, Jain A. Pyogenic liver abscess: Aetiology, clinical manifestations and management. Trop Gastroenterol 1998;19:136-40.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Sharma MP, Kumar A. Liver abscess in children. Indian J Pediatr 2006;73:813-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Ulug M, Gedik E, Girgin S, Celen MK, Ayaz C. Pyogenic liver abscess caused by community-acquired multidrug resistance Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Braz J Infect Dis 2010;14:218.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Lo WT, Wang CC, Hsu ML, Chu ML. Pyogenic liver abscess caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a previously healthy child: Report of one case. Acta Paediatr Taiwan 2000;41:98-100.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Calza L, Manfredi R, Marinacci G, Fortunato L, Chiodo F. Community-acquired Pseudomonas aeruginosa sacro-iliitis in a previously healthy patient. J Med Microbiol 2002;51:620-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Huhulescu S, Simon M, Lubnow M, Kaase M, Wewalka G, Pietzka AT, et al. Fatal Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia in a previously healthy woman was most likely associated with a contaminated hot tub. Infection 2011;39:265-9.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Chen WH, Chiu CH, Huang CH, Lin CH, Sun JH, Huang YY, et al. Pyogenic liver abscess caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Clinical analysis of 20 cases. Scand J Infect Dis 2011;43:877-82.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Moore SW, Millar AJ, Cywes S. Conservative initial treatment for liver abscesses in children. Br J Surg 1994;81:872-4.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Moore SW, Lakhoo K, Millar AJ, Cywes S. Left-sided liver abscess in childhood. S Afr J Surg 1994;32:145-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Hansen PS, Schonheyder HC. Pyogenic hepatic abscess. A 10 year population-based retrospective study. APMIS 1998;106:396-402.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

  [Table 1]


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