MultiCenter Study of Intra-Abdominal Abscess Formation After Major Operative Hepatic Trauma

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Journal of Surgical Research


Introduction; One of the significant complications of operative liver trauma is intra-abdominal abscesses (IAA). The objective of this study was to determine risk factors associated with postoperative IAA in surgical patients with major operative liver trauma. Methods; A retrospective multi-institutional study was performed at 13 Level 1 and Level 2 trauma centers from 2012 to 2021. Adult patients with major liver trauma (grade 3 and higher) requiring operative management were enrolled. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. Results; Three hundred seventy-two patients were included with 21.2% (n = 79/372) developing an IAA. No difference was found for age, gender, injury severity score, liver injury grade, and liver resections in patients between the groups (P > 0.05). Penetrating mechanism of injury (odds ratio (OR) 3.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.54-7.57, P = 0.02), intraoperative massive transfusion protocol (OR 2.43, 95% CI 1.23-4.79, P = 0.01), biloma/bile leak (OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.01-4.53, P = 0.04), hospital length of stay (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02-1.06, P < 0.001), and additional intra-abdominal injuries (OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.09-4.72, P = 0.03) were independent risk factors for IAA. Intra-abdominal drains, damage control laparotomy, total units of packed red blood cells, number of days with an open abdomen, total abdominal surgeries, and blood loss during surgery were not found to be associated with a higher risk of IAA. Conclusions; Patients with penetrating trauma, massive transfusion protocol activation, longer hospital length of stay, and injuries to other intra-abdominal organs were at higher risk for the development of an IAA following operative liver trauma. Results from this study could help to refine existing guidelines for managing complex operative traumatic liver injuries.

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