Original article


, 6:22

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Herpes zoster correlates with pyogenic liver abscesses in Taiwan

  • Shen Mei-LingAffiliated withDepartment of Anesthesiology, Taichung Tzu Chi General HospitalGraduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, China Medical University
  • , Liao Kuan-FuAffiliated withCollege of Medicine, Tzu Chi UniversityDepartment of Internal Medicine, Taichung Tzu Chi General HospitalGraduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, China Medical University
  • , Tsai Sung-MaoAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Taichung Tzu Chi General Hospital
  • , Lin MS Cheng-LiAffiliated withCollege of Medicine, China Medical UniversityManagement Office for Health Data, China Medical University Hospital
  • , Lai Shih-WeiAffiliated withCollege of Medicine, China Medical UniversityDepartment of Family Medicine, China Medical University Hospital Email author 



The purpose of the paper was to explore the relationship between herpes zoster and pyogenic liver abscesses in Taiwan.


This was a nationwide cohort study. Using the database of the Taiwan National Health Insurance Program, there were 33049 subjects aged 20-84 years who were newly diagnosed with herpes zoster from 1998 to 2010 that were selected for our study, and they were our herpes zoster group. 131707 randomly selected subjects without herpes zoster were our non-herpes zoster group. Both groups were matched by sex, age, other comorbidities, and the index year of their herpes zoster diagnosis. The incidence of pyogenic liver abscesses at the end of 2011 was then estimated. The multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression model was used to estimate the hazard ratio and 95% confidence interval for pyogenic liver abscesses associated with herpes zoster and other comorbidities.


The overall incidence rate was 1.38-fold higher in the herpes zoster group than in the non-herpes zoster group (4.47 vs. 3.25 per 10000 person-years, 95% confidence interval 1.32, 1.44). After controlling for potential confounding factors, the adjusted hazard ratio of pyogenic liver abscesses was 1.34 in the herpes zoster group (95% confidence interval 1.05, 1.72) when compared with the non-herpes zoster group. Sex (in this case male), age, presence of biliary stones, chronic kidney diseases, chronic liver diseases, cancers, and diabetes mellitus were also significantly associated with pyogenic liver abscesses.


Patients with herpes zoster are associated with an increased hazard of developing pyogenic liver abscesses.


Herpes zoster Pyogenic liver abscess Biliary stone Chronic kidney disease Chronic liver disease Cancers Diabetes mellitus