Psoas Abscess: A Primer for the Internist

, Department of Internal Medicine, Lincoln Health Center and Durham Regional Hospital, Durham, NC

South Med J. 2001;94(1) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Psoas abscess is a rare condition with vague clinical presentation. In this article, its epidemiology, etiology, bacteriology, diagnosis, and treatment are discussed. Common diseases that may be erroneously diagnosed in patients with psoas abscess are presented.

Many abdominal conditions are so dramatic in their presentation that patients may go to the emergency room. Psoas abscess has an insidious onset, and patients may be seen by their primary care physician. Because psoas abscess is rare and is uncommonly discussed in primary care medical literature, primary care physicians may miss this diagnosis. Therefore, these practitioners need to be familiar with psoas abscess to prevent delay in diagnosis and treatment. Psoas abscess may be classified as primary or secondary, depending on the presence or absence of underlying disease.


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