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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Psoas abscess as a secondary complication of gastrointestinal disease: report of five cases

Ewen A. Griffiths, M. Reza Kalbassi, William J. Cunliffe, David A Browell

CaseRepClinPractRev 2003; 4(2):73-76

ID: 429033

Available online:


Background: Psoas abscess is classically thought of as being a rare condition related to spinal tuberculosis, however in modern surgical practice it is more likely to be secondary to gastrointestinal disease. Its presentation is often insidious and with non-specific clinical features. Furthermore, because of its obscure nature, the diagnosis is often delayed leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Case Report: We report five cases of psoas abscess to draw attention to this uncommon and potential fatal condition. The literature is reviewed and we discuss the clinical presentation, role of radiological imaging in diagnosis, and the therapeutic aspects of the disease. Conclusions: To clinch the diagnosis there must be a high degree of clinical suspicion and early resort to radiological investigation.

Keywords: Psoas Abscess, gastrointestinal disease, Diagnostic Imaging, surgical procedures