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Volume 48, Number 2, April 2015

Clinical characteristics and economic consequence of Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess in Taiwan 

Ping-Feng Wu, Yea-Yuan Chang, Yi-Tsung Lin, Fu-Der Wang, Yu-Jiun Chan, Chang-Phone Fung

Received: March 11, 2013    Revised: August 8, 2013    Accepted: August 27, 2013   


Corresponding author:

Yi-Tsung Lin
Corresponding author. Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Number 201, Section 2, Shih-Pai Road, Beitou District, Taipei City 11217, Taiwan. 


Background and purpose: 

Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess (KPLA) has emerged as an endemic disease in Taiwan, and its prevalence has been increasing in east Asian countries in the past three decades. The utilization of healthcare resources associated with KPLA is assumed to be substantial, and may be of future concern. This study investigated the clinical characteristics and economic burden of KPLA in Taiwan in 2011 and 2012. 



Adult patients with KPLA were identified retrospectively in a tertiary medical center in Taiwan from January 2011 to December 2012. The clinical characteristics, total and daily hospitalization expenditure, and the risk factors for the costs of KPLA were analyzed.



Among patients with KPLA, the median cost was $5290.80 in US dollars, and the mean cost was $6337.50 ± $4363.40. Length of hospital stay was the only independent risk factor for the high total hospitalization expenditure. The duration of antibiotic use was nearly the same as the length of hospital stay. The prolonged stay in the general ward (≥21 days) also contributed to the high total cost of hospitalization. The independent risk factors for the high average daily cost of hospitalization were a higher Charlson Comorbidity Index and the requirement of intensive care on admission. 



The current study is the first to demonstrate the high economic burden resulting from KPLA in a medical center in Taiwan. Standardizing the treatment protocol for KPLA inpatients and introducing an outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy center to reduce the length of stay may reduce costs, whereas development of a vaccine may be necessary to tackle endemic KPLA in the future. 


Key words:

Cost, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Liver abscess