Spontaneous bacterial empyema in cirrhotic patients: A prospective study

Gastroenterology Service, Hospital de Bellvitge, Barcelona, Spain.
Hepatology (Impact Factor: 11.19). 05/1996; 23(4):719-23. DOI: 10.1002/hep.510230410
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Spontaneous bacterial empyema (SBEM) is an infection of a preexisting hydrothorax in cirrhotic patients and has seldom been reported. To determine its incidence and primary characteristics, all cirrhotic patients with pleural effusion underwent thoracentesis at our hospital either on admission or when an infection was suspected. Pleural fluid (PF) study included biochemical analysis, polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocyte count, and culture by two methods: conventional and modified (inoculation of 10 mL of PF into a blood culture bottle at the bedside). SBEM was defined according to previously reported criteria: PF culture positive or PMN count greater than 500 cells/micro L, and exclusion of parapneumonic effusions. Sixteen of the 120 (13 percent) cirrhotic patients admitted with hydrothorax had 24 episodes of SBEM. In 10 of the 24 episodes (43 percent), SBEM was not associated with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). PF culture was positive by the conventional method in 8 episodes (33 percent) and by the modified method (blood culture inoculation) in 18 (75 percent) (P = .004, McNemar). The microorganisms identified in PF were Escherichia coli in 8 episodes, Streptococcus species in 4, Enterococcus species in 3, Klebsiella pneumoniae in 2, and Pseudomonas stutzeri in 1. All episodes were treated with antibiotics without inserting a chest tube in any case. Mortality during treatment was 20 percent. We conclude that SBEM is a common complication of cirrhotic patients with hydrothorax. Almost half of the episodes were not associated with SBP; thus, thoracentesis should be performed in patients with cirrhosis, pleural effusion, and suspected infection. Culture of PF should be performed by inoculating 10 mL into a blood culture bottle at the bedside.

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    • "stands for deteriorating prognosis (Xiol et al., 1996). SBEM should be suspected in patients who developed fever, pleuritic pain, encephalopathy or unexplained renal dysfunction. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatic hydrothorax is defined as a significant pleural effusion in patients with liver cirrhosis and without underlying cardiopulmonary diseases. Treatment of hepatic hydrothorax remains a challenge at present. Herein we share our experiences in the treatment of 12 patients with hepatic hydrothorax by video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Repair of the diaphragmatic defects, or pleurodesis by focal pleurectomy, talc spray, mechanical abrasion, electro-cauterization or injection was administered intraoperatively, and tetracycline intrapleural injection was used postoperatively for patients with prolonged (>7 d) high-output (>300 ml/d) pleural effusion. Out of the 12 patients, 8 (67%) had uneventful postoperative course and did not require tube for drainage more than 3 months after discharge. In 4 (33%) patients the pleural effusion still recurred after discharge due to end-stage cirrhosis with massive ascites. We conclude that the repair of the diaphragmatic defect and pleurodesis through VATS could be an alternative of transjugular intrahepatic portal systemic shunt (TIPS) or a bridge to liver transplantation for patients with refractory hepatic hydrothorax. Pleurodesis with electrocauterization can be an alternative therapy if talc is unavailable.
    Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B 08/2009; 10(7):547-51. DOI:10.1631/jzus.B0820374 · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    • "Xiol et al. proposed a diagnostic criteria for spontaneous bacterial empyema (Xiol et al., 1996): (1) clinical evidence of fever or shock; (2) positive pleural fluid culture or, if negative, a pleural fluid neutrophil count greater than 500 cells/mm 3 ; (3) no evidence of pneumonia on chest radiology; and (4) preexisted hepatic hydrothorax. When all the above criteria were fulfilled, the diagnosis of spontaneous bacterial empyema was established. "
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    ABSTRACT: Spontaneous bacterial empyema is a complication of hepatic hydrothorax in cirrhotic patients. The pathogen, clinical course and treatment strategy are different to the empyema secondary to pneumonia. A 54-year-old man, who was a cirrhotic patient with hepatic hydrothorax, was admitted to National Taiwan University Hospital for fever, dyspnea and right side pleuritic pain. The image study revealed massive right pleural effusion and no evidence of pneumonia. The culture of pleural effusion yielded Aeromonas veronii biotype sobria. The diagnosis of spontaneous bacterial empyema caused by Aeromonas veronii biotype sobria was established. To our best knowledge, Aeromonas veronii biotype sobria had never been reported in English literature as the causative pathogen of spontaneous bacterial empyema.
    Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease 09/2000; 37(4):271-3. DOI:10.1016/S0732-8893(00)00148-6 · 2.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pleural effusions develop in 6-10% of patients with end-stage liver disease. Although, commonly seen in conjunction with ascites, isolated hepatic hydrothorax can occur in a small number of patients with cirrhosis. Refractory hepatic hydrothorax particularly poses a challenging therapeutic dilemma as treatment options are limited at best in these patients. Current patho-physiologic understanding of this disorder, as a cause, points towards the presence of diaphragmatic defects responsible for the shift of fluid from the peritoneal to the pleural cavity. When sodium restriction and diuretic treatment fail, liver transplantation remains the most definitive therapy in these refractory cases. However, transjugular intrahepatic porto-systemic shunt (TIPS), or video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) repair of the diaphragmatic defects (with or without pleurodesis) are effective strategies in those who are not transplant candidates or those awaiting organ availability. Hepatic hydrothorax, especially when refractory to medical treatment, poses a challenging management dilemma. An early recognition and familiarity with available treatment modalities is crucial to effectively manage this exigent complication of cirrhosis.
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