Twenty-one cases of hepatic abscesses treated during a period of four years (from 1981 to 1985) at the University of Patras, Greece, are presented. This material includes 10 cases with abscesses caused by suppurated echinococcal cysts, corresponding to 21% of the total number of 47 cases of echinococcal cysts of the liver treated at our department during the same period. A preoperative diagnosis of the suppurated echinococcal cysts by conventional laboratory methods was not reliable. Because of the high frequency of echinococcal disease in our region and the risk of contamination of the peritoneal cavity from echinococcal parasites if the cyst is punctured, the new therapeutic techniques of treating hepatic abscesses by percutaneous drainage have not been applied. The exclusive method of treatment used was surgical drainage which had a satisfactory outcome and a mortality rate as low as 9%.