Dig Liver Dis. 2022 Aug;54(8):1015-1020. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2022.02.007. Epub 2022 Mar 26.
BACKGROUND: Spontaneous bacterial empyema (SBEM) is a rare complication of hepatic hydrothorax characterized by hydrothorax infection in the absence of pneumonia.
AIMS AND METHODS: We conducted this study to compare clinical outcomes in SBEM patients who underwent early thoracentesis (ET) (≤ 24 h from presentation) versus those who underwent delayed thoracentesis (DT). All patients diagnosed with SBEM at Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota from January 1st 1999 to December 31st 2020 were reviewed. Demographics, pleural fluid studies, laboratory results and clinical outcomes were analyzed.
RESULTS: A total of 54 SBEM patients (27 ET and 27 DT) were identified with 38 (70.4%) of patients presenting with right-sided effusions. Both groups had similar baseline characteristics. The rate of ICU admission was significantly higher in the DT group (15 (55.6%) vs. 7 (25.9%) patients, P = 0.027). Patients with DT had similar rate of AKI (11 (40.7%) vs. 6 (22.2%) patients, P = 0.074). In-hospital mortality (11 (40.7%) vs. 2 (7.4%) patients, P = 0.004), 3-month mortality (16 (59.3%) vs. 2 (7.4%) patients, P < 0.001) and 1-year mortality rate (21 (77.8%) vs. 6 (22.2%) patients, P < 0.001) were higher in the DT group.
CONCLUSION: Patients with SBEM who underwent thoracentesis after 24 h from presentation (DT) had higher rates of mortality and ICU admission compared to patients who received early thoracentesis. Thoracentesis should be performed early in patients with suspected SBEM since it may improve survival.