Brain abscess treatment

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A brain abscess is a brain inflammation covered by walls. The condition occurs as a spread of local infections, neurosurgical procedures or cerebral trauma. Symptoms include headache, nausea, seizures, personality changes and other signs of brain damage. The treatment requires antibiotic therapy and surgical intervention (neurosurgery) to remove purulent fluid from the brain.

A limited focus of purulent inflammation in the brain tissue is called an abscess. The process can occur when microorganisms spread from another site of inflammation within the skull (for example, located in a tooth, nose, or ear), from a head wound, or from other organs (in this case, pathogens are carried with blood).

The disease is rare and frequently related to other primary diseases, so brain abscess is an accompanying condition (complication). Risk factors for development are mainly acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, organ transplantation, intravenous drug use, cancer chemotherapy, congenital heart defects, artificial heart valves, and diabetes.

Clinically, such patients have a fever, headache (sometimes unilateral), signs of intracranial hypertension (nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, swelling of optic nerve discs), meningeal signs, focal neurological symptoms and seizures. These symptoms can develop over many days or weeks. At first, a person's body temperature rises and chills appear. But as the body begins to cope with the infection, the symptoms disappear.

When a brain abscess is suspected, the most reliable diagnostic tests are computed tomography (CT-scan) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI-scan). In addition, doctors prescribe additional studies to determine which microorganism caused the process. For example, a biopsy of the abscess: material is taken for detailed examination under a microscope.

Without antibiotic treatment, a brain abscess can lead to death. Therefore, antibiotics (penicillin, metronidazole, and cephalosporins) are usually prescribed for 4-6 weeks, and CT or MRI scans are repeated every two weeks. Sometimes a brain abscess causes an increase in intracranial pressure and swelling of the brain. In such cases, corticosteroids and other drugs that reduce brain swelling and intracranial pressure (mannitol) are prescribed.

Only medications are not the best choice. However, such an approach is possible in a weakened patient who probably will not tolerate surgery. The most common operative approaches are aspiration and excision. Stereotactic (under navigation) aspiration is performed under local anaesthesia. Surgical removal is performed only in the case of encapsulation (wall formation) of the abscess (at least ten days after the development of symptoms). After that, the treatment duration can be significantly reduced - up to 2 weeks.

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6 countries and 18 cities for Brain abscess