Amoebic Liver Disease
This topic covers information about Amoebic Liver Disease
Amebic liver abscess is a collection of pus in the liver caused by the intestinal parasite Entamoeba histolytica.
Hepatic amebiasis; Extraintestinal amebiasis; Abscess - amebic liver
Amebic liver abscess is caused by Entamoeba histolytica, the same organism that causes amebiasis, an intestinal infection. The organism is carried through the blood to the liver.
Transmission occurs through ingestion of cysts in fecally-contaminated food or water, use of human waste as fertilizer, and person-to-person contact.
Risk factors for amebic liver abscess include:
- Old age
- Steroid use Cancer
- Recent travel to a tropical region
- Homosexuality, particularly in males
Patients may or may not have symptoms of intestinal infection. Symptoms that may be present include:
- Abdominal pain, particularly in the right, upper region. Pain may be intense, continuous, or stabbing.
- General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise )
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Joint pain
Exams and Tests
These tests detect abscess in the liver:
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Abdominal CT scan or MRI
- Liver biopsy - rarely done due to high risk of complications
- Liver scan
- Liver function tests may show abnormalities
- A CBC shows elevated white blood cell count, indicating infection.
- A serology for amebiasis is positive
Drink purified water and do not eat uncooked vegetables or unpeeled fruit. Public health measures include improved water purification and waste treatment for underdeveloped areas.
Practice of hand wash before eating and after defeacation.
Illustrations and Images
Liver cell death
Source : Portal Content Team