An untreated hepatic abscess is nearly uniformly fatal as a result of complications that include sepsis, empyema, or peritonitis from rupture into the pleural or peritoneal spaces, and retroperitoneal extension. Treatment should include drainage, either percutaneous or surgical.
Antibiotic therapy as a sole treatment modality is not routinely advocated, though it has been successful in a few reported cases. It may be the only alternative in patients too ill to undergo invasive procedures or in those with multiple abscesses not amenable to percutaneous or surgical drainage. In these instances, patients are likely to require many months of antimicrobial therapy with serial imaging and close monitoring for associated complications.