An abscess in the abdomen (intra-abdominal abscess) is diagnosed by correlating findings on imaging studies with the signs and symptoms present. Read more on symptoms of intra-abdominal abscesses. Other laboratory findings will further confirm the diagnosis.
Blood tests may reveal :
- raised white blood cell counts
- abnormal levels of liver enzymes
Absence of these findings, especially in elderly and debilitated patients, does not rule out intra-abdominal abscess completely.
A blood culture is an important investigation in diagnosing intra-abdominal abscess. Multiple bacterial growths found in blood culture or the presence of bacterial species like Bacteroides in a blood culture are highly suggestive of an intra-abdominal abscess. Peritoneal fluid culture and blood culture are also important in choosing the antibiotics for specific antibiotic treatment.