amebic hepatitis

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amebic hepatitis

A syndrome marked by a tender, enlarged liver; pain over the liver; fever; and leukocytosis in a patient with amebic colitis. This term is a misnomer because the liver changes are not due to an infestation of that organ with amebae but are a part of the nonspecific reaction to the infection in the intestinal tract. Nevertheless, a liver abscess will occasionally develop, and the walls of the abscess will contain amebae.


Metronidazole plus iodoquinol, or chloroquine phosphate plus either emetine or dehydroemetine are used to treat amebic hepatitis. These latter two drugs are toxic and should be given only if their course can be carefully observed with a cardiac monitor. The drugs should not be given to a patient who has cardiac disease or is pregnant. Needle aspiration of the abscess may be needed.

See also: hepatitis
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