What is the role of lab testing in the diagnosis of abdominal abscess?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Alan A Saber, MD, MS, FACS, FASMBS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Appropriate hematologic studies should be done. Hematologic parameters suggestive of infection (eg, leukocytosis, anemia, abnormal platelet counts, and abnormal liver function) frequently are present, although patients who are debilitated or elderly often fail to mount reactive leukocytosis or fever.

Blood cultures indicating persistent polymicrobial bacteremia strongly implicate the presence of an intra-abdominal abscess. Because more than 90% of intra-abdominal abscesses contain anaerobic organisms, particularly B fragilis, postoperative Bacteroides bacteremia suggests intra-abdominal sepsis.


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