Liver Abscess: Causes, Types, Radiology, & Natural Treatment

Liver Abscess fills liver mass with pus including abdominal conditions, such as appendicitis, which occurs due to an inflamed and infected appendix. It may also be caused due to diverticulitis that is inflammation or infection of diverticula. Diverticula are pouches in the intestine that can harm intestines due to hematogenous spread in blood and portal vein. A liver injury can also lead to this disease.

liver abscess

Liver Abscess Causes:

There can be several possible sources that can cause this problem. It includes;

  • Blood impurity and contagion
  • Abdominal infection or abdominal wound that has become infected such as appendicitis and diverticulitis
  • Contamination of the bile draining tubes
  • Topical endoscopy of the bile draining tubes
  • Shock and distress that damages the liver

Types of Liver Abscess:

Majorly, there are three types of liver abscess.

1. Bacteria cause a pyogenic liver abscess:

pyogenic liver abscess is infrequent and occasionally causes disease. Its characteristic is that it happens by either solitary or multiple pools of pus within the liver. Specific bacteria can cause this infection. Frequently polymicrobial, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella pneumonia are the common contributing organisms.

2. Parasites cause an amebic liver abscess.

Amebic liver abscess is a gathering and assortment of pus in the liver. It happens in response to an abdominal parasite called Entamoeba histolytica.

Amebic Abscess

3. Fungi cause a fungal liver abscess.

This type of liver abscess exists in human beings due to fungal infection. These are principally due to Candida albicans and arise in people with long experience with antimicrobials, hematologic malignancies, solid-organ transplants, congenital, and acquired immunodeficiency. Molds and dimorphic fungi are less common but can cause severe infection to the liver.

Must Read: Periodontal Abscess

Liver Abscess Diagnosis:

Following is the list of various methods and ways that are used to diagnose this disease:

  • An abdominal ultrasound to trace an abscess
  • A CT scan with circulatory blood and vein contrast
  • Injected dye to discover and measure the abscess
  • Blood tests to look for symbols of contagious and transmissible inflammation like an increase in blood serum, white blood count, and neutrophil level

Liver Abscess Treatment:

The selection of treatment methods extensively depends upon the clinical health and abscess source of the patient. Patients take individual treatment from doctors but the most commonly used Liver Abscess treatments are of two types:

1. Taking medicine:

The first treatment that doctors recommend to patients is the usage of antibiotics or antibacterial or antifungal medicine. Patients are usually suggested to use this medicine for a few weeks to cure the problem.

2. Draining the abscess:

The second way that may be done in addition to using medicine is to drain the pus that exists in the liver. Or this method may be suggested if the treatment doesn’t work and cure the patient and starts causing further infections and problems. The drainage process accomplishes surgically, or US/CT instructed percutaneously. Following are factors that need to be considered while selecting the choice of therapy:

  • Anaesthetic or Deadening risk of the patient
  • The occurrence or non-occurrence of coexisting primary intra-abdominal pathology
  • The success rate of the method
  • Expertise in handling the pathologies


Liver Abscess Radiology:

In general, bacterial, parasite, and fungal abscesses are often of multiple types. At the same time, amoebic pus is frequently of a single category. An amoebic abscess is more common in a subdiaphragmatic position and is more likely to extend through the chest and diaphragm. When the contamination and infection spread to the liver through the entrance veins, it affects more commonly in the right part. It usually happens due to an uneven distribution of more extensive and lower mesenteric vein contents.

A plain abdominal radiograph is not profound and sensitive for evaluating liver abscesses. Indirect symbols include:

  • Gas or inflammation within the abscess or biliary tree or under the diaphragm
  • Right-sided pleural expression


The variable appearance of Liver abscesses is classically defined very poorly.  Its unique approach ranges from mainly hypoechoic with some internal echoes to hyperechoic; color Doppler result will reveal the absence of dominant perfusion and will also show the gas bubbles. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound works better and shows wall enrichment during the arterial stage and advanced washout during portal or late stages. The liquefied necrotic part does not increase. The use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound allows us to describe the laceration. It helps to quantify the size of the necrotic zone and to represent inner septations for management purposes, in cases where abscesses are small like under 3 cm and the instances where it is highly septated, drainage is not suggested. The laceration may seem stable and imitate a hepatic tumor where inpatients are diagnosed with monomicrobial, pneumonia abscesses.


Just like other models, the advent and presence of liver abscesses on CT are too variable. These generally appear as incidentally enhancing and centrally hypoattenuating wounds. Rarely they seem as solid and contain gas. The gas can be in the practice of bubbles or air-fluid levels. Wedge-shaped, segmental, and circumferential perfusion irregularities and anomalies may be seen with early enhancements.

Its double target sign is a feature imaging characteristic of hepatic wounds and determines on contrast-enhanced CT scans. Here a high reduction inner rim and a low reduction outer ring surround a central low reduction lesion fluid-filled. The abscess skin and tissues which are inner ring conclude early contrast enhancement which continues on deferred images. It works in opposition to the outer rim which only boosts the deferred phase.

The cluster sign is a characteristic of pyogenic hepatic abscesses. It is a combination of multiple low, reducing liver lesions in a restricted area to practice a self-contained superior abscess cavity.


MRI signal characteristics include:

  • T1 which usually hypointense centrally, heterogeneous, and maybe slightly hyperintense in fungal abscess
  • T2 tends to have hyper strong signal, perilesional oedema displays as high signal intensity on T2-weighted images that can identify about 35% of liver abscesses.
  • T1 C+Gd enhances the capsule, though this may be absent in immunocompromised patients and numerous septations may also be present here.
  • DWItends to have a high signal within the abscess cavity and high movement at the periphery
  • ADC tend to have a low signal within the abscess cavity and high movement at the periphery

Liver Abscess diet:

Taking healthy foods may help to have more energy and recover faster. A healthy diet includes fruit, vegetables, whole-grain bread, beans, low-fat dairy products, meat, fish, and lean. Here is a nutritional benefits description that can help liver abscess patients to make a diet plan:

  • Coffee

Coffee enhances antioxidant levels in the liver, which ultimately diminishes and reduces infection and inflammation. It further reduces the risk of liver cancer, fatty liver, and developing liver diseases.

  • Tea

Black and green tea can recover the enzyme and control fat stages in the liver. But if green tea extract is used as exercise caution, it can cause harm to your health.

  • Grapefruit

The antioxidant present in grapefruit can protect the liver by recovering infections and inflammations. It also helps in increasing its immune mechanism.

  • Blueberries and Cranberries

Barriers are also enriched with antioxidants which ultimately help to protect the liver from harm. It also helps in improving its immunity and antioxidant responses.

  • Grapes

The results of human studies show that grapes and grape seed extract highly protect the liver against various infections and problems.

  • Prickly Pear

It helps in fighting against the symptoms of infection and inflammation. It can also overcome the adverse health effects of alcohol consumption.

  • Beetroot Juice

Beetroot juice is enriched with natural detoxification enzymes. It defends the liver from oxidative harms and infections.

  • Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli and Brussel sprouts that improve the blood circulation level in liver enzymes. It can enhance the natural detoxification enzymes of the liver to protect it against harms and infection.

  • Nuts

The higher intake of nuts associates the improvement in liver enzyme level and oppositely the lower intake of nuts can lead to developing liver diseases.

  • Fatty Fish

Taking omega-3 enriched fish has many advantages for liver good health.

  • Olive Oil

The consumption and usage of olive oil reduce the level of fats in the liver and keeps the blood flow excellent.

Frequently Asked Questions

What could cause a liver abscess?/Why do you get a liver abscess?

There are so many causes of these diseases, but its primary reasons are:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Abdominal parasite

Is a liver abscess severe?

Of course, a liver abscess is severe. If the patient ignores its treatment, it can lead to sepsis by bursting and extending the infection. It can cause life-threatening blood infections. So never left it untreated.

How do you treat a liver abscess?

It is mainly treated in two ways:

  1. By taking antibiotic medicine
  2. And through drainage of pus from the liver.

The methods opt for treatment entirely depend upon the clinical health of the patient’s liver, and the type of liver abscess. Taking a healthy diet can also treat this disease and keep the liver healthy.

How long does it take for a liver abscess to heal?

The cure duration depends upon the medical condition of the patient, and the method which is used from treatment. It usually takes 4-6 weeks for the cure and in extreme cases it can take 18 weeks or even more. Some infections and lesions are so fierce that it may take a longer time to recover even after successful treatment.

Wrapping Up:

Liver Abscess is a disease that causes the liver to fill with pus. It’s due to some abdominal conditions, including appendicitis and diverticulitis. The main reasons for this disease are bacterial, fungal, and abdominal parasite infection. This disease should be treated as most urgent as it can lead to a life-threatening blood infection. Either the use of antibiotics or the drainage process can heal this sickness. Intake of healthy food can protect the liver against all the antioxidants and even the consumption of alcohol.

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