Computed tomography-guided percutaneous abscess drainage in intestinal disease: Factors associated with outcome

Andrea Bernini, Michael P. Spencer, W. Douglas Wong, David A. Rothenberger, Robert D. Madoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: This study was designed to assess the efficacy of computed tomography-guided percutaneous abscess drainage in intestinal disease. METHODS: Retrospective chart review of patients who underwent percutaneous abscess drainage for complications of intestinal disease with or without surgery between 1990 and 1994. RESULTS: Eighty-two patients with 111 abscesses were identified. Causes of abscess included anastomotic leaks (35 percent), postoperative complications without leak (30 percent), and diverticular disease (23 percent). Complete success (no surgery necessary) was achieved in 53 of 82 patients (65 percent). Nine patients (11 percent) who underwent interval surgery were classified as having partial successes. Twenty-six of 26 (100 percent) well-defined unilocular collections containing pus were successfully drained. Complex abscesses (loculated, poorly defined, multiple, associated with fistula, draining feces) were successfully drained in 35 of 55 patients (63 percent). Success rates varied inversely with the number of complicating factors present. Apache II scores of 15 or higher were associated with decreased success rates. CONCLUSION: Percutaneous abscess drainage is a highly successful technique for treatment of patients with intra-abdominal infection related to intestinal disease. Although several factors are associated with decreased success rates and multiple complicating factors combine to reduce success rates, no identifiable factor or combination of factors preclude the possibility of a successful outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1013
Number of pages5
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1997


  • Abscess
  • Anastomotic leak
  • Complications
  • Computed tomography guided drainage


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