February 4, 2023
February 3, 2023

What is a Pyogenic Liver Abscess?

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What is a Pyogenic Liver Abscess?

The liver is a cone-shaped organ that sits in the abdominal cavity’s upper right portion, positioned on top of the right kidney, intestines, and stomach, but underneath the diaphragm. The liver’s main function is to excrete bile, which helps the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) digest and absorb fat and fat-soluble vitamins. Its other primary role is to regulate the levels of most chemicals in our blood, though experts have found over 500 other functions to date that the liver is responsible for. Weighing about three pounds and dark reddish-brown in color, the liver obtains oxygen-rich blood from the hepatic artery and nutrient-rich blood from the hepatic portal vein.

The liver is segmented into two main lobes; each lobe is split into eight segments made up of 1,000 small lobules. These lobules are connected to small ducts that flow into larger ones which eventually form the common hepatic duct, which serves to move bile produced by liver cells to the gallbladder and duodenum. This is accomplished by way of the common bile duct. At any given moment, the liver has about 13% of the body’s blood flowing through it.

A pyogenic liver abscess is a condition characterized by an area in the liver filled by pus; the term “pyogenic,” in fact, means “producing pus.” These can be caused by a number of things, such as:

  • Blood infections
  • Infections of the tubes that drain bile
  • A recent endoscopy of the bile-draining tubes
  • Trauma that causes damage to the liver
  • Abdominal infections like diverticulitis or appendicitis
  • A perforated bowel
  • Common bacterial infections

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