A liver abscess is a pocket of pus in the liver. It’s usually caused by a bacterial infection, but can also be caused by a fungal or parasitic infection.
There are many ways to develop a liver abscess, including:
- having an infection that spreads to the liver through the bile ducts or liver’s blood vessels
- liver injury
- a nearby infection that directly spreads into the liver
You may have 1 or more liver abscesses.
Symptoms of liver abscess
If you have a liver abscess, you may develop symptoms, including:
- fever and chills
- tummy pain and tenderness – usually in the upper right side
- weight loss – without trying to lose weight
- feeling generally unwell
- feeling sick or being sick
- cough and shortness of breath
- right shoulder pain
- skin and whites of eyes turning yellow (jaundice)
See a doctor if you have, or think you may have, a liver abscess.
How a liver abscess is diagnosed
Your doctor may suspect a liver abscess based on your symptoms, medical history and after looking at and/or feeling your tummy area (abdomen). They may also do blood tests,
How to treat a liver abscess
If you have a liver abscess, it may be treated with antibiotics and by draining the pus. This can be done in several ways, including putting a needle or a small tube (catheter) or surgery.