Background: Amebic liver abscess (ALA) is a common and serious problem in our country. There are only a few controlled trials on the efficacy and advantages of combination therapy with percutaneous needle aspiration and pharmacotherapy, over pharmacotherapy alone for amebic liver abscess.
Material and Methods: This study was conducted to compare the efficacy of two different treatment modalities i.e. drug treatment alone vs. drug treatment and aspiration of abscess cavity in patients with small (up to 5 cm) and large (5 cm to 10 cm) size ALA. This is one of the largest single center, prospective, randomized studies comparing the efficacy of aspiration in ALA.
Results: (i) Mean body temperature, liver tenderness, total leukocyte count (TLC), serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and liver span were significantly decreased in the aspiration group on days 8 and 15 as compared to non-aspiration group especially in large abscess (5cm to 10 cm). (ii) Abscess cavity maximum diameter decreased significantly in aspiration group on days 8 and 15, and 1 month & 3 months in large abscess (5cm to 10 cm).
Conclusions: (i) Needle aspiration along with metronidazole hastens clinical improvement especially in large (5 cm up to 10 cm) cavities in patients with ALA. (ii) Aspiration is safe and no major complications occurred. (iii) Hence, combination therapy should be the first choice especially in large ALA (5 cm to 10 cm)