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The amoebic fluorescent antibody titre is raised in about 75% of patients with active colitis and about 90% of patients with amoebic liver abscess.
Microscopy of faeces or tissue biopsy reveals cysts or trophozoites.
The presence of trophozoites but not cysts confirms the diagnosis of acute amoebic dysentery.
Liver involvement must be suspected if the serum alkaline phosphatase is raised. Hepatic ultrasound will confirm the presence of an abscess. The diagnosis can be confirmed by needle aspiration.