Tubo-ovarian abscess. An analysis of 20 cases.

R Varela, V Gonçalves, C Telhado, C Hormigo, C Tavares

Abstract


The authors make a 3-year retrospective analysis of the tubo-ovarian abscess cases admitted to the Gynecology Ward of Dr Alfredo da Costa Maternity Hospital. In the period studied (1991 through 1993) there were 20 such cases. The incidence in nulliparous patients was 25%. A significant percentage (30%) of the patients had recently undergone uterine instrumentation. A prior history of pelvic inflammatory disease was obtained in only 15% of the cases. In the IUD users the incidence of unilateral and bilateral abscesses was identical. Most patients (85%) became apyretic within 48 hours of instituting intravenous antibiotics. In most cases (90%) the patients underwent surgical therapy. The mean time elapsed between instituting antibiotics and the surgical procedure was 3 days. There was one case of intra-abdominal rupture of the abscess. Intraoperatively, an appendiceal abscess was found in 3 (15%) patients. In 30% of the cases a total hysterectomy with unilateral or bilateral adnexectomy was performed. One of the 2 (10%) patients treated solely with medical therapy presented abscess recurrence one month after hospital discharge. Although the management of tubo-ovarian abscesses has become more conservative it still includes, in most cases, surgical drainage or extirpation after appropriate antibiotic therapy.

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