Features and treatment modality of iliopsoas abscess and its outcome: A 6-year hospital-based study

Ming Shun Hsieh, Shih Che Huang, El Wui Loh, Che An Tsai, Ying Ying Hung, Yu Tse Tsan, Jin An Huang, Lee Min Wang, Sung Yuan Hu

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Percutaneous drainage (PCD) and surgical intervention are two primary treatment options for iliopsoas abscess (IPA). However, there is currently no consensus on when to use PCD or surgical intervention, especially in patients with gas-forming IPA. This study compared the characteristics of patients with gas-forming and non-gas forming IPA and their mortality rates under different treatment modalities. An algorithm for selecting appropriate treatment for IPA patients is proposed based on our findings. Methods: Eighty-eight IPA patients between July 2007 and February 2013 were enrolled in this retrospective study. Patients < 18 years of age or with an incomplete course of treatment were excluded. Demographic information, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of different treatment approaches were compared between gas-forming IPA and non-gas forming IPA patients. Results: Among the 88 enrolled patients, 27 (31%) had gas-forming IPA and 61 (69%) had non-gas forming IPA. The overall intra-hospital mortality rate was 25%. The gas-forming IPA group had a higher intra-hospital mortality rate (12/27, 44.0%) than the non-gas forming IPA group (10/61, 16.4%) (P < 0.001). Only 2 of the 13 patients in the gas-forming IPA group initially accepting PCD had a good outcome (success rate = 15.4%). Three of the 11 IPA patients with failed initial PCD expired, and 8 of the 11 patients with failed initial PCD accepted salvage operation, of whom 5 survived. Seven of the 8 gas-forming IPA patients accepting primary surgical intervention survived (success rate = 87.5%). Only 1 of the 6 gas-forming IPA patients who accepted antibiotics alone, without PCD or surgical intervention, survived (success rate = 16.7%). In the non-gas forming IPA group, 23 of 61 patients initially accepted PCD, which was successful in 17 patients (73.9%). The success rate of PCD was much higher in the non-gas forming group than in the gas-forming group (P <0.01). Conclusions: Based on the high failure rate of PCD and the high success rate of surgical intervention in our samples, we recommend early surgical intervention with appropriate antibiotic treatment for the patients with gas-forming IPA. Either PCD or primary surgical intervention is a suitable treatment for patients with non-gas forming IPA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number578
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 9 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Iliopsoas abscess
  • Percutaneous drainage
  • Psoas abscess
  • Pyomyositis
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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