UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Epidemiology and risk factors for pyogenic liver abscess in the Calgary Health Zone revisited: a population-based study Losie, Jennifer A.; Lam, John C.; Gregson, Daniel B.; Parkins, Michael D.


Background Pyogenic liver abscess (PLA), although uncommon in North America, is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. We sought to re-examine the epidemiology, risk factors, and outcomes of PLA in a large, diverse Canadian health zone. Methods All Calgary Health Zone (CHZ) residents aged ≥20 with PLA between 2015 and 2017 were identified. Incidence and mortality rates were calculated using census data. Risk factors for PLA were identified using a multivariate analysis. Data was compared to 1999–2003 data, also collected in the CHZ. Results There were 136 patients diagnosed with PLA between 2015 and 2017. Incidence rate during this period increased significantly relative to 1999–2003 (3.7 vs 2.3 cases/100,000 population, p < 0.01), however, mortality rates remained similar. The microbiological composition of PLA did not change over this 15-year time period but the number of antimicrobial resistant isolates did increase (8% vs 1%, p = 0.04). The greatest risk factors for PLA relative to general populations included current malignancy, liver-transplant, end-stage renal disease, and cirrhosis. Thirty-day mortality was 7.4% and independent risk factors included polymicrobial bacteremia, absence of abscess drainage, congestive-heart failure, a history of liver disease, and admission bilirubin. Conclusions Pyogenic liver abscess is a health concern with rising incidence rate. The increasing prevalence of comorbidities in our population and factors that are associated with risk of PLA suggests this will continue to be an emerging diagnosis of concern. Increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistant organisms compounding unclear optimal treatment regimens is an issue that requires urgent study.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)