Experience with 88 consecutive cases of brain abscess

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✓ The records of 88 patients with intraparenchymal brain abscess treated during 1946–1971 were reviewed. The incidence of brain abscess did not decline significantly during this period. The overall mortality rate was 36.4%, and the operative mortality rate 29.1%. The most frequent findings were alteration of consciousness, headache, and elevated peripheral white blood cell count; fever, hemiparesis, seizures, neck stiffness, nausea and vomiting, and papilledema were less common. Lumbar puncture was a definite threat to the patient with a brain abscess. Ventriculography appeared slightly superior to angiography in accurately localizing the site of the abscess. There was a close correlation between the preoperative level of consciousness and the operative mortality rate. With the aid of Thorotrast, simple aspiration or drainage was superior to excision; when Thorotrast was not used, excision produced better results. The rate of postoperative seizure disorder was similar regardless of the type of treatment. The operative mortality rate and the postoperative neurological sequelae were less for intracerebellar abscesses than for intracerebral abscesses.

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Address reprint requests to: Howard Morgan, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Room 231, 858 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38103.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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