JOURNAL ARTICLE
META-ANALYSIS
REVIEW
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
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Percutaneous needle aspiration versus catheter drainage in the management of liver abscess: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of percutaneous needle aspiration (PNA) and percutaneous catheter drainage (PCD) in the management of liver abscess.

METHODS: Electronic searches (Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCIE) were conducted to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing PNA and PCD. A meta-analysis was subsequently performed.

RESULTS: A total of five RCTs covering 306 patients were included. The meta-analysis showed that outcomes in patients treated with PCD were superior to those in patients treated with PNA in terms of success rate [relative risk (RR): 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.66-0.99; P = 0.04], clinical improvement [standardized mean difference (SMD): -0.73, 95% CI 0.36-1.11; P = 0.0001] and days to achieve a 50% reduction in abscess cavity size (SMD: -1.08, 95% CI 0.64-1.53; P < 0.00001). No significant differences were found in duration of hospitalization (mean difference: -0.17, 95% CI -2.10 to 1.75; P = 0.86) or procedure-related complications (RR: 0.50, 95% CI 0.10-2.63; P = 0.41). Days to achieve the total or near total resolution of the abscess cavity and mortality were not calculated because data in the RCTs in the meta-analysis were insufficient.

CONCLUSIONS: Both PNA and PCD are safe methods of draining liver abscesses. However, PCD is more effective than PNA because it facilitates a higher success rate, reduces the time required to achieve clinical relief and supports a 50% reduction in abscess cavity size. However, among successfully treated patients, the outcomes of PNA are comparable with those of PCD.

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