Strategies in the management of pyogenic psoas abscesses

D. C. Mac Gillivray, R. J. Valentine, J. A. Johnson

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29 Scopus citations


The presentation and management of eight patients with pyogenic psoas abscesses treated at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, between January 1986 and July 1989 are presented. The psoas abscesses were secondary to underlying gastrointestinal disease in six patients and sacral osteomyelitis in one patient. In one patient, the etiology of the abscess could not be determined. The average duration of symptoms in these patients was 16 days. Computed tomography was useful in identifying the abscess, defining its complexity, and planning therapy in all eight patients. Seven patients had complex, multiloculated abscesses, and one patient had a simple abscess. Extraperitoneal drainage was used in all patients. The patients with multiloculated abscesses had open surgical drainage, while the patient with the simple abscess had percutaneous catheter drainage. Most patients with a gastrointestinal etiology for their abscess underwent staged resection 3 to 6 weeks after the drainage procedure. There were no deaths, recurrent abscesses, or fistulae in these patients. Two patients developed thromboembolic complications postoperatively. Extraperitoneal drainage with staged resection of underlying gastrointestinal pathology is a safe and effective way of treating patients with psoas abscesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-705
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


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