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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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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.



A localized collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue.


a localized collection of pus formed as the product of inflammation and usually caused by bacteria
References in periodicals archive ?
The psoas abscess remained stable since the diagnosis, and the symptoms relapsed despite the fact that the patient was on antibiotherapy.
The key differential diagnoses included deep vein thrombosis, cellulitis, necrotising fasciitis, septic arthritis, metallosis, and psoas abscess.
A differential diagnosis of Guillain-Band Syndrome, discitis, or psoas abscess was considered and Augmentin was changed to intravenous Tazocin (piperacillin-tazobactam).
5% of cases are related to various type of parietal wall and retroperitoneal causes like Psoas abscess.
She had been diagnosed with a psoas abscess three months earlier at a local hospital that was drained and was found to be culture-positive for mycobacterium tuberculosis after which the intensive phase of ATT using four drugs (isoniazid 5mg/kg, rifampicin 10mg/kg, pyrazinamide 25mg/kg and ethambutol15mg/kg) was given for two months.
Rapidly fatal gas-forming pyogenic psoas abscess caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae .
Skeletal system involvement is relatively a common complication of human brucellosis, however, muscular involvement and psoas abscess are less frequent.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a psoas abscess almost completely replacing the left psoas muscle in both patients.
Although, abdominal ultrasound was found to be normal, computed tomography of the abdominal cavity showed bilateral psoas abscess that extended to pectineus muscle and also involved the iliopsoas muscle on the right.
They may present as Fournier's gangrene (necrotizing perineal infection), (10, 12-14) psoas abscess, (11) or direct tumor invasion into the abdominal wall.