Liver Abscess

A liver abscess is collection of pus in the liver.

How This Hurts the Liver

An abscess forms from an abdominal (the area between the chest and hips) infection such as:

  • Appendicitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Perforated bowel
  • Infection in the blood
  • Infection from the biliary (liver secretion) tract
  • Trauma when a bruised liver becomes infected

This can cause the liver to become infected. The most common bacteria causing liver abscess are escherichia coli, klebsiella species, enterococcus, staph and strep and bacteroides.


Treatment for a liver abscess usually consists of surgical or percutaneous (through the skin, with a needle) drainage of the abscess. This is accompanied by prolonged antibiotic therapy. Sometimes antibiotics alone can cure the infection.