Intra-abdominal sepsis after hepatic resection
Escherichia coli Infections
One hundred and thirty hepatic resections performed over an 8-year period were reviewed for evidence of postoperative intra-abdominal sepsis. Of 126 patients who survived for more than 24 hours after operation, 36 developed culture positive intra-abdominal collections (28.6%). Significant independent variables associated with the development of intra-abdominal sepsis were diagnoses of trauma or cholangiocarcinoma, and the need for reoperation to control hemorrhage during the postoperative period. Before 1984, infected fluid collections were treated predominantly by operative drainage, but this has largely been replaced by percutaneous methods, which have proven effective in most cases. Eighteen (50%) of the infections were caused by a mixed bacterial culture, with Streptococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli being the most common isolates. Six patients with clinical signs of sepsis had a sterile fluid collection drained with complete relief of symptoms. This review suggests that intra-abdominal sepsis is a frequent complication after hepatic resection, and can often be managed successfully by nonoperative percutaneous drainage.