Last reviewed 01/2018

The diagnosis of a subphrenic abscess is by:

  • ultrasound or abdominal CT: localises collections of pus

  • white cell count: often a leucocytosis of around 20,000

  • chest X-ray:
    • high diaphragm on the affected side
    • may be gas and fluid beneath the diaphragm
    • if there is a pleural effusion then this is seen on chest X-ray