Author(s): Kondziolka D, Duma CM, Lunsford LD
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Abstract Successful clinical outcomes are not achieved in all patients who undergo image-guided stereotactic surgery as the initial procedure in the management of brain abscess. We sought to define those factors related to management failure, so that the initial surgical approach could be selected using preoperative clinical or imaging criteria. We reviewed our twelve-year experience in 29 consecutive patients. Twenty-two (76\%) patients had drainage of abscesses with purulent centers. Seven (24\%) underwent lesion biopsy for diagnosis. Twelve patients (with abscesses > 3 cm in average diameter) underwent stereotactic insertion of drainage catheters. Ten patients (34\%) had adverse risk factors including immunologic suppression after prior organ transplantation, chronic steroid therapy, prior antineoplastic chemotherapy, or retained foreign body. Microbiological identification of the causative organism was obtained in 22 patients; 6 patients had positive Gram stains without growth in culture (bacteriological diagnosis = 97\%). Long-term clinical evaluation (up to 8.5 years, median 3 years) confirmed disease resolution after initial single-procedure stereotactic management in 21 patients (72\%). Eventual abscess resolution occurred in an additional 6 patients (21\%), all of whom required multiple procedures. Five patients died of complications of their systemic disease during the follow-up period. Fifteen of the 18 (83\%) surviving patients who had no associated risk factors returned to their premorbid functional capacity. Factors associated with initial treatment failure included inadequate aspiration, lack of catheter drainage of larger abscesses, chronic immunosuppression, and insufficient antibiotic therapy.
This article was published in Acta Neurochir (Wien)
and referenced in Journal of Neuroinfectious Diseases