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Clinical Manifestations and Risk Factors of Amebic Liver Abscess in Southeast Taiwan Compared with Other Regions of Taiwan

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  • Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taitung Branch, Taiwan; Department of Nursing, Meiho University, Neipu, Pingiung, Taiwan; Department of Pharmacy and Graduate Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology, Tajen University, Yanpu, Pingtung, Taiwan

Amebic liver abscess (ALA) had previously been endemic in Taiwan, particularly in the southern region, although its occurrence in the southeastern area was unknown. Thus, we conducted a retrospective study for southeastern Taiwan. We identified 14 patients who were diagnosed with ALA between July of 1995 and July of 2008. These patients were predominantly male and older in age. Most patients lived in rural areas (85.7%). Alcoholism (78.6%) and diabetes (35.7%) were risk factors for ALA. No human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections were detected. The most common clinical symptoms were fever (100%) and abdominal pain (100%). Short mean durations of symptoms, high bilirubin levels, and low albumin levels were also noted. Most patients (92.86%) had a single lesion, particularly in the right liver lobe (71.4%). Six patients also had secondary Klebsiella pneumoniae bacterial infections. Clinicians should be aware of the different risk factors in different regions when diagnosing amebic liver abscess in Taiwan.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Ming-Jong Bair, No. 1, Lane 303, Changsha Street, Taitung, Taiwan. E-mail: a5963@ttms.mmh.org.tw

Authors' addresses: Huan-Lin Chen, Ming-Jong Bair, I-Tsung Lin, Chia-Hsien Wu, and Yuan-Kai Lee, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taitung Branch, Taiwan, E-mails: naturehuen@yahoo.com.tw, a5963@ttms.mmh.org.tw, a5820@ttms.mmh.org.tw, a5696@ttms.mmh.org.tw, and a6322@ttms.mmh.org.tw.

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