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Intra-abdominal, retroperitoneal, and visceral abscesses in children.

This review describes the microbiology, diagnosis, and management of intra-abdominal abscesses (including subphrenic, hepatic, splenic, and retroperitoneal abscesses) in children. They often occur as a complication of local or generalized peritonitis, commonly secondary to appendicitis, necrotizing enterocolitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and tubo-ovarian infection, surgery or trauma. The original infection generally occurs because of the entry of enteric microorganisms into the peritoneal cavity through a defect in the wall of the intestine or other viscus as a result of obstruction, infarction, or direct trauma. Mixed aerobic and anaerobic flora can be recovered from most abscesses. The predominant aerobic isolates are Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococcus spp. and the main anaerobic bacteria are Bacteroides fragilis group Peptostreptococcus spp., Fusobacterium spp., and Clostridium spp. The treatment of intraabdominal abscesses includes drainage, surgical correction of pathology, and administration of antimicrobials effective against both aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms.

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