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localized inflamation associated with tissue necrosis. Abscesses are characterized by inflamation, which is due to the accumulation of pus in the local tissues, and often painful swelling. They occur in the skin, at the root of a tooth, in the middle ear, on the eyelid (see stysty,
in medicine, acute localized infection of one or more of the glands of the eyelid, with pain, swelling, and redness of the lid margin, usually caused by a staphylococcus infection. An external sty usually releases its pus and disappears in a day or so.
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), in the mammary glands, in the recto-anal area, and elsewhere in the body. Abscesses may develop in lung tissue, in the lymph nodes, and in bone. A sinus abscess may result in a fistulafistula
, abnormal, usually ulcerous channellike formation between two internal organs or between an internal organ and the skin. It may follow a surgical procedure with improper healing, or it may be caused by injury, abscess, or infection with penetration deep enough to reach
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, and abscess of the appendix in appendicitis. Unless an abscess discharges spontaneously, surgical incision and drainage is required. See boilboil
or furuncle
, tender, painful inflammatory nodule in the skin, which becomes pustular but with a hard center (see abscess). It may be caused by any of various microbes, the most usual being Staphylococcus aureus.
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; carbunclecarbuncle,
acute inflammatory nodule of the skin caused by bacterial invasion into the hair follicles or sebaceous gland ducts. It is actually a boil, but one that has more than one focus of infection, i.e., involves several follicles or ducts.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a localized purulent inflammation of tissues, involving their dissolution and the formation of a pus-containing cavity.

Abscesses may develop in the subcutaneous cellular tissue, in muscles, bones, and so forth, as well as in organs (such as the liver, lungs, spleen, and brain) or between them (interintestinal abscesses, subphrenic abscesses, and so on). Abscesses may appear either independently or as a complication in other diseases—for instance, pneumonia, trauma, etc. They develop as a result of the penetration of pyogenic microbes into the organism through lesions of the skin or the mucous membranes or as a result of importation of pathogenic agents from other purulent foci through the blood and lymph vessels. The microbes that have entered the tissues cause inflammation and subsequent necrosis of a section of tissue or organ. The abscess is surrounded by a zone of inflammation. The organism’s defense reaction is manifested in the formation of a capsule separating the abscess from healthy tissue. The volume of pus in the cavity of an abscess may reach several liters.

The manifestations of abscesses depend on their location, depth, and stage of development. Abscesses located close to the skin or to a mucous membrane cause their reddening, an increase in local and overall temperature, swelling, and fluctuation—a sensation of impulse transmission through a liquid from one wall to the other. When an abscess is deep, the function of the organ in which it is embedded is disturbed, body temperature rises, and pain sets in. The number of leukocytes in the blood and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) increase. If the capsule becomes thin, the abscess will open up by itself through the skin or into the bronchial or intestinal lumen, etc. Serious complications develop when abscesses break open into the pleural or abdominal cavity. Abscesses are treated by surgery.


Rufanov, I. G. Obshchaia khirurgiia, 6th ed. Moscow, 1957. Page 311.
Davydovskii, I. V. Obshchaia patologiia cheloveka. Moscow, 1961.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A localized collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a localized collection of pus formed as the product of inflammation and usually caused by bacteria
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Sex Males: 13 Females: 6 Age (mean [+ or -] SD) 50 ([+ or -] 2.6) years Ethnicity NHW: 11 Hispanics: 8 Alcohol: 5 Etiology of pancreatitis Gallstone: 12 Idiopathic: 1 Postsurgical abscess: 1 Time from index AP to 9 ([+ or -] 2.2) intervention (mean weeks [+ or -] SD) WOPN: 7 Type of fluid collected Infected WOPN: 8 Infected pseudocyst: 3 Pancreatic abscess: 1 Approach Transgastric: 19 TABLE 2: Study outcomes.
The use of antibiotics is usually reserved for patients with necrotizing pancreatitis and organ failure, or pancreatic abscess. According to recent research, antibiotics do not seem to prevent pancreatic infection (Banks, 1994b, 1997).
We identified only one other report of Salmonella enteritidis pancreatic abscess [11].
They may be associated with pseudopancreatic cyst and pancreatic abscess. If not diagnosed and treated, these problems may lead to increased mortality.
infected pancreatic necrosis and pancreatic abscess), extrapancreatic infectious complications, feeding-associated complications (diarrhea, abdominal bloating, hyperglycemia, dislodged nasogastric tubes, etc.) and organ failure during hospital admission were retrospectively compared.
Nine patients required re-laparotomy; 3 were for removal of packs (having had damage control laparotomy at the initial operation), 1 for pancreatic abscess, 1 for a mesenteric bleeder, and 4 for peritonitis, 1 case of which was due to the missed gastric injury.
The BMI and WHR were compared in severity, local complications (walled-off necrosis, pancreatic abscess, and pancreatic pseudocyst), and systematic complications (respiratory failure, circulatory failure, renal failure, and gastrointestinal bleeding) of HLAP, using the chi-square test and Monte Carlo simulations.
Pancreatic necrosis, pancreatic abscess were found only in patients having severe pancreatitis.
Out of 1006 patients identified, the following patients were excluded: those with partially missing/unavailable medical records (n = 59) and those with a history of pancreatic cancer or pancreatic surgery (n = 4) and pancreatic abscess (n = 6) (Figure 1).
Table 4 denotes complications of acute pancreatitis, where Pancreatic necrosis was found in 14%, which was infected in 2(14.3%) and Pancreatic abscess found in 3% patients.
ARDS, kidney failure, encephalopathy and GI hemorrhage usually occur in the early phase, bacterial and fungal infection usually in the intermediate phase and pancreatic abscess usually in the late phase.
Complications Buchler MW Choudhuri G et al (2) et al (4) Acute fluid collection (%) -- 40.5 Pseudocyst (%) 2.45 24.9 Ascites (%) -- -- Pleural effusion (%) -- -- Pancreatic necrosis (%) 42.15 40.5 Pancreatic abscess (%) 0.5 0 Complications Kashid A et Present al (5) Study Acute fluid collection (%) 34.54 0 Pseudocyst (%) 0 0 Ascites (%) 0 13.2 Pleural effusion (%) 34.54 10.5 Pancreatic necrosis (%) 18.18 5.3 Pancreatic abscess (%) 5.45 0 PROCEDURE: Only 4(10.5%) of 8 patient with biliary pancreatitis underwent open cholecystectomy, and the others were managed conservatively.