Amebic liver abscess complicated with cardiac tamponade and mediastinal abscess

Ting-Hsing Chao, Yi-Heng Li, Liang-Miin Tsai, Wei-Chuan Tsai, Jeng Kai Teng, Li Jen Lin, Jyh Hong Chen

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Amebic pericarditis is an extremely rare complication of liver abscess and an uncommon etiology of sterile pericardial effusion with cardiac tamponade. The association of mediastinal abscess in this clinical setting has not been reported in the literature. Herein, we describe a case of amebic liver abscess complicated with mediastinal abscess and amebic pericarditis with cardiac tamponade. A 44-year-old man was admitted to our hospital because of shortness of breath for the previous 2 days. Cardiac tamponade was diagnosed and emergency pericardiectomy was performed. Chocolate-like purchases was found in the pericardial sac and mediastinal space during surgery. Abdominal computed tomography revealed an ill-defined hypodense lesion over the left lobe of the liver, suggesting a liver abscess. Amebic liver abscess and pericarditis were diagnosed on the basis of a high serum titer of amebic antibodies on hemagglutination test. The patient was treated with metronidazole for 2 weeks and discharged in good condition. This case should alert clinicians to the possibility of amebic pericarditis in patients with cardiac tamponade associated with chocolate-like sterile purchases in the pericardium and mediastinum. To establish the diagnosis of amebic pericarditis, one should investigate the presence of a liver abscess, a high serum titer of amebic hemagglutination antibodies, and the presence of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites in the pericardium or pericardial aspirate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-216
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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