BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-006408
  • Rare disease

Liver abscess caused by toothpick and treated by laparoscopic left hepatic resection: case report and literature review

Press Release
  1. Michele Molinari1
  1. 1Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michele Molinari, michele.molinari{at}

Hepatic abscesses caused by ingested foreign bodies have been reported in the medical literature but represent very uncommon events. Extra-luminal migration of sawing needles and pins is the most common cause of perforation of the gastrointestinal tract associated with liver infections. Other non-metallic sharp objects such as animal bones and toothpicks have been described but are less frequent. The authors present a case of a 45-year-old woman who suffered from sepsis and a liver abscess because of the migration of a toothpick that lodged in the left hepatic lobe. Review of the literature on the pathogenesis and clinical management of liver abscesses caused by ingested foreign is presented.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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