Print E-mail
Volume 49, Number 5, October 2016

Epidemiology and clinical outcome of pyogenic liver abscess: an analysis from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan, 2000–2011 

Yung-Chun Chen, Ching-Heng Lin, Shih-Ni Chang, Zhi-Yuan Shi


Corresponding author:

Corresponding author. Zhi-Yuan Shi, Section of Infectious Diseases, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Number 1650, Section 4, Taiwan Boulevard, Taichung 40705, Taiwan. 


Background and purpose: 

The epidemiology of pyogenic liver abscess continues to change and the issue of antimicrobial therapy is controversial. This study investigated the epidemiology and clinical outcomes of antimicrobial therapy.




The annual incidence rates, demographic data, underlying diseases, complications, length of stay, mortality rates, and antimicrobial therapy were analyzed using the data retrieved from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000, Taiwan, from 2000 to 2011. 



The annual incidence of pyogenic liver abscess for all age groups increased gradually in Taiwan from 10.83 per 100,000 person-years in 2000 to 15.45 per 100,000 person-years in 2011. Pyogenic liver abscess occurred more commonly in patients with male sex, of older age (>50 years), and lower family income. Among the 1522 adult patients with pyogenic liver abscess, 537 (35.3%) patients had diabetes mellitus, 165 (10.8%) patients had complications, 234 (15.4%) patients received mechanical ventilation, and 361 (23.7%) patients had a stay in intensive care; the mortality rate was 8.2% (125/1522). There were 426 (28%) patients treated with cefazolin and 158 (10.4%) patients treated with extended-spectrum cephalosporins. There were no statistically significant differences in the length of stay and mortality rates between these two groups (20.2 days vs. 23.1 days; and 7.5% vs. 10.1%, respectively).




The clinical outcomes of pyogenic liver abscess treated with cefazolin were comparable to those treated by extended-spectrum cephalosporins. Extended-spectrum cephalosporins should be used for severe complications, such as meningitis and endophthalmitis. Further surveillance of epidemiology and cohort analysis of antimicrobial therapy are important. 


Key words:

Clinical outcome, National Health Insurance Research Database, Pyogenic liver abscess