Published online Mar 28, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i12.3731
Peer-review started: September 5, 2014
First decision: October 14, 2014
Revised: November 4, 2014
Accepted: December 1, 2014
Article in press: December 1, 2014
Published online: March 28, 2015
A 21-year-old male with no significant past medical history, presented with right upper quadrant (RUQ) abdominal pain along with fevers and chills. Lab work revealed leukocytosis, anemia, and slightly elevated alkaline phosphatase. Viral serology for hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and human immunodeficiency virus were negative and he was immunocompetent. Computed tomography imaging revealed hepatic abscesses, the largest measuring 9.5 cm. Empiric antibiotics were started and percutaneous drains were placed in the abscesses. Anaerobic cultures from the abscesses grew Fusobacterium nucleatum. This is a gram negative anaerobic bacteria; a normal flora of the oral cavity. Fusobacterium is most commonly seen in Lemiere’s disease, which is translocation of oral bacteria to the internal jugular vein causing a thrombophlebitis and subsequent spread of abscesses. Our patient did not have Lemiere’s, and is the first case described of fusobacterium pyogenic liver abscess in a young immunocompetent male with good oral hygiene. This case was complicated by sepsis, empyema, and subsequent abscesses located outside the liver. These abscesses’ have the propensity to flare abruptly and can be fatal. This case not only illustrates fusobacterium as a rare entity for pyogenic liver abscess, but also the need for urgent diagnosis and treatment. It is incumbent on physicians to diagnose and drain any suspicious hepatic lesions. While uncommon, such infections may develop without any overt source and can progress rapidly. Prompt drainage with antibiotic therapy remains the cornerstone of therapy.
Core tip: Pyogenic liver abscesses have the propensity to cause devastating effects; immediate drainage and antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment. Herein we report the first case of a pyogenic liver abscess from fusobacterium in a young, otherwise healthy immunocompetent individual.