Brain Abscess

Brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease is a life-threatening condition that involves the collection of pus in the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification parenchyma caused by infection from bacteria Bacteria Bacteria are prokaryotic single-celled microorganisms that are metabolically active and divide by binary fission. Some of these organisms play a significant role in the pathogenesis of diseases. Bacteriology, fungi Fungi A kingdom of eukaryotic, heterotrophic organisms that live parasitically as saprobes, including mushrooms; yeasts; smuts, molds, etc. They reproduce either sexually or asexually, and have life cycles that range from simple to complex. Filamentous fungi, commonly known as molds, refer to those that grow as multicellular colonies. Mycology, parasites, or protozoa Protozoa Nitroimidazoles. The most common presentation is headache, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever with chills Chills The sudden sensation of being cold. It may be accompanied by shivering. Fever, seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures, and neurological deficits. Diagnosis is mainly based on imaging, as it is difficult to arrive at a definitive diagnosis based on clinical presentation alone. Management includes administration of empiric antibiotic therapy and surgical intervention. Immediate management is necessary; otherwise, severe neurologic complications ensue.

Last updated: Jun 21, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease is an uncommon but life-threatening infectious Infectious Febrile Infant collection of pus in the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification parenchyma.

Epidemiology

  • Rare in developed countries but the incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency is high in developing countries 
  • More predominant in men than women (2:1) 
  • Higher incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with AIDS AIDS Chronic HIV infection and depletion of CD4 cells eventually results in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can be diagnosed by the presence of certain opportunistic diseases called AIDS-defining conditions. These conditions include a wide spectrum of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections as well as several malignancies and generalized conditions. HIV Infection and AIDS
  • Mortality rate Mortality rate Calculated as the ratio of the total number of people who die due to all causes over a specific time period to the total number of people in the selected population. Measures of Health Status has improved with advances in brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification imaging.

Etiology

There are 2 routes of the spread of infection to the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification

  1. Direct spread from adjacent infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease of the head and neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess region typically presents as a single abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease:
    • Otitis media (spread to the inferior temporal lobe Temporal lobe Lower lateral part of the cerebral hemisphere responsible for auditory, olfactory, and semantic processing. It is located inferior to the lateral fissure and anterior to the occipital lobe. Cerebral Cortex: Anatomy and cerebellum Cerebellum The cerebellum, Latin for “little brain,” is located in the posterior cranial fossa, dorsal to the pons and midbrain, and its principal role is in the coordination of movements. The cerebellum consists of 3 lobes on either side of its 2 hemispheres and is connected in the middle by the vermis. Cerebellum: Anatomy)
    • Mastoiditis Mastoiditis Inflammation of the honeycomb-like mastoid bone in the skull just behind the ear. It is usually a complication of otitis media. Mumps Virus/Mumps (spread to the inferior temporal lobe Temporal lobe Lower lateral part of the cerebral hemisphere responsible for auditory, olfactory, and semantic processing. It is located inferior to the lateral fissure and anterior to the occipital lobe. Cerebral Cortex: Anatomy and cerebellum Cerebellum The cerebellum, Latin for “little brain,” is located in the posterior cranial fossa, dorsal to the pons and midbrain, and its principal role is in the coordination of movements. The cerebellum consists of 3 lobes on either side of its 2 hemispheres and is connected in the middle by the vermis. Cerebellum: Anatomy)
    • Paranasal sinus infection (spread to the frontal Frontal The bone that forms the frontal aspect of the skull. Its flat part forms the forehead, articulating inferiorly with the nasal bone and the cheek bone on each side of the face. Skull: Anatomy lobes)
    • Dental infection (spread to the frontal Frontal The bone that forms the frontal aspect of the skull. Its flat part forms the forehead, articulating inferiorly with the nasal bone and the cheek bone on each side of the face. Skull: Anatomy lobes)
    • Head/facial trauma 
    • Neurosurgical procedure
  2. Hematogenous Hematogenous Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) and Liver Metastases spread from infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease from other regions of the body typically presents with multifocal Multifocal Retinoblastoma abscesses in middle cerebral artery Middle cerebral artery The largest of the cerebral arteries. It trifurcates into temporal, frontal, and parietal branches supplying blood to most of the parenchyma of these lobes in the cerebral cortex. These are the areas involved in motor, sensory, and speech activities. Cerebrovascular System: Anatomy distribution:
    • Bacterial endocarditis Bacterial endocarditis Inflammation of the endocardium caused by bacteria that entered the bloodstream. The strains of bacteria vary with predisposing factors, such as congenital heart defects; heart valve diseases; heart valve prosthesis implantation; or intravenous drug use. Endocarditis 
    • Chronic pulmonary infection: 
    • Pelvic infection 
    • Intraabdominal infection

Organisms causing brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease:

  • Bacteria Bacteria Bacteria are prokaryotic single-celled microorganisms that are metabolically active and divide by binary fission. Some of these organisms play a significant role in the pathogenesis of diseases. Bacteriology:
    • Staphylococcus Staphylococcus Staphylococcus is a medically important genera of Gram-positive, aerobic cocci. These bacteria form clusters resembling grapes on culture plates. Staphylococci are ubiquitous for humans, and many strains compose the normal skin flora. Staphylococcus aureus (most common)
    • Streptococcus Streptococcus Streptococcus is one of the two medically important genera of gram-positive cocci, the other being Staphylococcus. Streptococci are identified as different species on blood agar on the basis of their hemolytic pattern and sensitivity to optochin and bacitracin. There are many pathogenic species of streptococci, including S. pyogenes, S. agalactiae, S. pneumoniae, and the viridans streptococci. Streptococcus viridans (2nd most common)
    • Bacteroides Bacteroides Bacteroides is a genus of opportunistic, anaerobic, gram-negative bacilli. Bacteroides fragilis is the most common species involved in human disease and is part of the normal flora of the large intestine. Bacteroides 
    • Prevotella Prevotella A genus of gram-negative, anaerobic, nonsporeforming, nonmotile rods. Organisms of this genus had originally been classified as members of the bacteroides genus but overwhelming biochemical and chemical findings in 1990 indicated the need to separate them from other bacteroides species, and hence, this new genus was established. Dog and Cat Bites 
    • Nocardia Nocardia Nocardia is a branching, filamentous, gram-positive bacilli. It is partially acid fast due to the presence of mycolic acids in the cell wall. Nocardia is a ubiquitous soil organism that most commonly affects immunocompromised patients. Nocardia is transmitted via inhalation of aerosolized bacteria or less commonly, via direct contact with wounds. Nocardia/Nocardiosis 
  • Fungi Fungi A kingdom of eukaryotic, heterotrophic organisms that live parasitically as saprobes, including mushrooms; yeasts; smuts, molds, etc. They reproduce either sexually or asexually, and have life cycles that range from simple to complex. Filamentous fungi, commonly known as molds, refer to those that grow as multicellular colonies. Mycology:
    • Candida Candida Candida is a genus of dimorphic, opportunistic fungi. Candida albicans is part of the normal human flora and is the most common cause of candidiasis. The clinical presentation varies and can include localized mucocutaneous infections (e.g., oropharyngeal, esophageal, intertriginous, and vulvovaginal candidiasis) and invasive disease (e.g., candidemia, intraabdominal abscess, pericarditis, and meningitis). Candida/Candidiasis 
    • Aspergillus Aspergillus A genus of mitosporic fungi containing about 100 species and eleven different teleomorphs in the family trichocomaceae. Echinocandins 
    • Rhizopus Rhizopus A genus of zygomycetes fungi of the family mucoraceae, order mucorales, a common saprophyte and facultative parasite of mature fruits and vegetables. It may cause cerebral mycoses in diabetes and cutaneous infection in severely burned patients. Mucorales/Mucormycosis arrhizus
    • Coccidioides Coccidioides Coccidioidomycosis, commonly known as San Joaquin Valley fever, is a fungal disease caused by Coccidioides immitis or Coccidioides posadasii. When Coccidioides spores are inhaled, they transform into spherules that result in infection. Coccidioidomycosis is also a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia and can cause severe disease in the immunocompromised. Coccidioides/Coccidioidomycosis 
    • Blastomyces Blastomyces Blastomycosis is an infection caused by inhalation of the spores of the fungus, Blastomyces. Blastomyces species thrive in moist soil and decaying material and are common in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and the Great Lakes regions of the United States and Canada. Although most patients are asymptomatic, some can develop pneumonia. Blastomyces/Blastomycosis dermatitidis
    • Histoplasma Histoplasma Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by Histoplasma capsulatum, a dimorphic fungus. The fungus exists as a mold at low temperatures and as yeast at high temperatures. H. capsulatum is the most common endemic fungal infection in the US and is most prevalent in the midwestern and central states along the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. Histoplasma/Histoplasmosis capsulatum
  • Protozoa Protozoa Nitroimidazoles:
    • Toxoplasma Toxoplasma Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite. Felines are the definitive host, but transmission to humans can occur through contact with cat feces or the consumption of contaminated foods. The clinical presentation and complications depend on the host’s immune status. Toxoplasma/Toxoplasmosis gondii
    • Trypanosoma cruzi Trypanosoma cruzi Chagas disease is an infection caused by the American trypanosome Trypanosoma cruzi. This parasitic protozoan is transmitted in the feces of reduviid bugs in South and Central America. Acute infection may present with inflammation at the inoculation site (chagoma), fever, and lymphadenopathy. Untreated, chronic infection can progress to severe complications. Trypanosoma cruzi/Chagas disease 
    • Entamoeba histolytica Entamoeba Histolytica A species of parasitic protozoa causing entamoebiasis and amebic dysentery (dysentery, amebic). Characteristics include a single nucleus containing a small central karyosome and peripheral chromatin that is finely and regularly beaded. Amebicides 
    • Naegleria 
    • Acanthamoeba 
  • Helminths Helminths Commonly known as parasitic worms, this group includes the acanthocephala; nematoda; and platyhelminths. Some authors consider certain species of leeches that can become temporarily parasitic as helminths. Anthelmintic Drugs
    • Taenia Taenia Taenia belong to the Cestoda class of helminths. Humans are infected with these tapeworms by eating undercooked beef (T. saginata) or pork (T. solium and T. asiatica). Taeniasis is often asymptomatic, but the ingestion of larvae can cause abdominal discomfort, nausea, and constipation or diarrhea. Taenia/Taeniasis solium
    • Schistosoma Schistosoma Schistosomiasis is an infection caused by Schistosoma, a trematode. Schistosomiasis occurs in developing countries with poor sanitation. Freshwater snails are the intermediate host and are transmitted to humans through skin contact with contaminated fresh water. The clinical presentation occurs as a result of the host’s immune response to antigens from the eggs. Schistosoma/Schistosomiasis
    • Paragonimus

Risk factors:

  • HIV HIV Anti-HIV Drugs/ AIDS AIDS Chronic HIV infection and depletion of CD4 cells eventually results in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can be diagnosed by the presence of certain opportunistic diseases called AIDS-defining conditions. These conditions include a wide spectrum of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections as well as several malignancies and generalized conditions. HIV Infection and AIDS 
  • Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship on immunosuppressants Immunosuppressants Immunosuppressants are a class of drugs widely used in the management of autoimmune conditions and organ transplant rejection. The general effect is dampening of the immune response. Immunosuppressants 
  • Immunocompromised immunocompromised A human or animal whose immunologic mechanism is deficient because of an immunodeficiency disorder or other disease or as the result of the administration of immunosuppressive drugs or radiation. Gastroenteritis individuals
  • Recent head injury or surgery
  • Recent dental procedure 
  • IV drug abusers

Pathophysiology and Clinical Presentation

Pathogenesis

  • Brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification tissue damage is caused by the acute inflammatory response.
  • Early phase:
    • Cerebritis
    • 1–2 weeks
    • Presents with vascular congestion and localized edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
    • No tissue necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage 
  • Late phase Late Phase Sepsis in Children:
    • Develops in 2–3 weeks
    • Liquefaction and tissue necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage
    • Development of fibrotic capsule Capsule An envelope of loose gel surrounding a bacterial cell which is associated with the virulence of pathogenic bacteria. Some capsules have a well-defined border, whereas others form a slime layer that trails off into the medium. Most capsules consist of relatively simple polysaccharides but there are some bacteria whose capsules are made of polypeptides. Bacteroides made up of 3 layers:
      • Outer astroglial layer
      • Middle collagenous layer 
      • An inner layer of granulation tissue Granulation tissue A vascular connective tissue formed on the surface of a healing wound, ulcer, or inflamed tissue. It consists of new capillaries and an infiltrate containing lymphoid cells, macrophages, and plasma cells. Wound Healing

Stages of development of brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease after infection

Early cerebritis (days 1–3):

  • Acute inflammatory infiltrate
  • Visible ogranisms on staining
  • Surrounding edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema

Late cerebritis (days 4–9):

  • Predominant macrophage
  • Lymphocyte infiltrate

Early capsule Capsule An envelope of loose gel surrounding a bacterial cell which is associated with the virulence of pathogenic bacteria. Some capsules have a well-defined border, whereas others form a slime layer that trails off into the medium. Most capsules consist of relatively simple polysaccharides but there are some bacteria whose capsules are made of polypeptides. Bacteroides formation (days 10–13):

  • Necrotic center decreases in size.
  • Edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
  • Collagenous capsule Capsule An envelope of loose gel surrounding a bacterial cell which is associated with the virulence of pathogenic bacteria. Some capsules have a well-defined border, whereas others form a slime layer that trails off into the medium. Most capsules consist of relatively simple polysaccharides but there are some bacteria whose capsules are made of polypeptides. Bacteroides develops.

Late capsule Capsule An envelope of loose gel surrounding a bacterial cell which is associated with the virulence of pathogenic bacteria. Some capsules have a well-defined border, whereas others form a slime layer that trails off into the medium. Most capsules consist of relatively simple polysaccharides but there are some bacteria whose capsules are made of polypeptides. Bacteroides formation (day 14 +):

Capsule Capsule An envelope of loose gel surrounding a bacterial cell which is associated with the virulence of pathogenic bacteria. Some capsules have a well-defined border, whereas others form a slime layer that trails off into the medium. Most capsules consist of relatively simple polysaccharides but there are some bacteria whose capsules are made of polypeptides. Bacteroides becomes thick and is amenable to excision.

Locations (in order of frequency)

  • Frontal-temporal
  • Frontal-parietal
  • Parietal Parietal One of a pair of irregularly shaped quadrilateral bones situated between the frontal bone and occipital bone, which together form the sides of the cranium. Skull: Anatomy 
  • Cerebellar
  • Occipital Occipital Part of the back and base of the cranium that encloses the foramen magnum. Skull: Anatomy

Clinical presentation

  • Classical triad: 
    1. Headache (most common presenting symptom; 70% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship):
      • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways is usually localized to the side of the abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease.
      • Does not abate with analgesics 
    2. Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever with chills Chills The sudden sensation of being cold. It may be accompanied by shivering. Fever (50%)
    3. Focal neurological deficits (50%):
      • Aphasia Aphasia A cognitive disorder marked by an impaired ability to comprehend or express language in its written or spoken form. This condition is caused by diseases which affect the language areas of the dominant hemisphere. Clinical features are used to classify the various subtypes of this condition. General categories include receptive, expressive, and mixed forms of aphasia. Ischemic Stroke 
      • Hemiparesis Hemiparesis The term hemiparesis refers to mild to moderate weakness involving one side of the body. Epidural Hemorrhage 
      • Visual field Visual Field The Visual Pathway and Related Disorders defects  
  • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures (25%):
    • Especially if lesion is located in frontal lobe Frontal lobe The part of the cerebral hemisphere anterior to the central sulcus, and anterior and superior to the lateral sulcus. Cerebral Cortex: Anatomy
    • May be due to focal lesion or increased intracranial pressure Increased Intracranial Pressure Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)
  • Neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess stiffness (15%): 
    • Abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease located in occipital Occipital Part of the back and base of the cranium that encloses the foramen magnum. Skull: Anatomy lobe
    • Leakage into lateral ventricle 
  • Increased intracranial pressure Increased Intracranial Pressure Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP) ( ICP ICP Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)):
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics and vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Altered sensorium     
    • 3rd and 6th cranial nerve palsies Cranial Nerve Palsies Cranial nerve palsy is a congenital or acquired dysfunction of 1 or more cranial nerves that will, in turn, lead to focal neurologic abnormalities in movement or autonomic dysfunction of its territory. Head/neck trauma, mass effect, infectious processes, and ischemia/infarction are among the many etiologies for these dysfunctions. Diagnosis is initially clinical and supported by diagnostic aids. Management includes both symptomatic measures and interventions aimed at correcting the underlying cause. Cranial Nerve Palsies 
    • Papilledema Papilledema Swelling of the optic disk, usually in association with increased intracranial pressure, characterized by hyperemia, blurring of the disk margins, microhemorrhages, blind spot enlargement, and engorgement of retinal veins. Chronic papilledema may cause optic atrophy and visual loss. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (25%)

Diagnosis

Physical exam

  • Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever
  • Focal/unilateral headache
  • Signs of increased ICP ICP Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP):
    • Papilledema Papilledema Swelling of the optic disk, usually in association with increased intracranial pressure, characterized by hyperemia, blurring of the disk margins, microhemorrhages, blind spot enlargement, and engorgement of retinal veins. Chronic papilledema may cause optic atrophy and visual loss. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension ( optic disc Optic disc The portion of the optic nerve seen in the fundus with the ophthalmoscope. It is formed by the meeting of all the retinal ganglion cell axons as they enter the optic nerve. Eye: Anatomy swelling Swelling Inflammation)
    • Unilateral cranial nerve deficits
    • Hemiparesis Hemiparesis The term hemiparesis refers to mild to moderate weakness involving one side of the body. Epidural Hemorrhage

Imaging

  • MRI:
    • More sensitive than CT scan
    • Performed with gadolinium Gadolinium An element of the rare earth family of metals. It has the atomic symbol gd, atomic number 64, and atomic weight 157. 25. Its oxide is used in the control rods of some nuclear reactors. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    • Useful in early cerebritis and to detect satellite lesions
    • Estimates extent of necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage and cerebral edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema 
    • Classic “ring enhancement” is observed.   
  • CT scan:
    • Not as sensitive as MRI and therefore mostly used only in emergencies
    • Performed with and without contrast 
    • Early cerebritis appears as an irregular area of low density.
    • Ring enhancement is not as clear as in MRI.

Lumbar puncture Lumbar Puncture Febrile Infant

  • Performed to:
    • Exclude meningitis Meningitis Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the protective membranes of the brain, and spinal cord. The causes of meningitis are varied, with the most common being bacterial or viral infection. The classic presentation of meningitis is a triad of fever, altered mental status, and nuchal rigidity. Meningitis/ meningoencephalitis Meningoencephalitis Encephalitis from differential
    • Obtain CSF for serologic analysis
  • Obtain brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification imaging first to rule out intracerebral mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast due to risk of brainstem herniation Herniation Omphalocele.
  • Contraindicated if papilledema Papilledema Swelling of the optic disk, usually in association with increased intracranial pressure, characterized by hyperemia, blurring of the disk margins, microhemorrhages, blind spot enlargement, and engorgement of retinal veins. Chronic papilledema may cause optic atrophy and visual loss. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension or focal neurologic deficits Neurologic Deficits High-Risk Headaches are present due to risk of brainstem herniation Herniation Omphalocele

Abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease aspirate/ biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma

  • Obtained via image-guided aspiration or during surgical intervention
  • Tests performed on the specimen: 
    • Gram stain Gram stain Klebsiella
    • Aerobic and anaerobic bacterial culture
    • Fungal and mycobacterial culture 
    • Histopathology:
      • Gives a definitive diagnosis 
      • Specimen is obtained during surgery or via image-guided brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma.

Serology Serology The study of serum, especially of antigen-antibody reactions in vitro. Yellow Fever Virus of blood and CSF

  • Indicated if parasitic abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease is suspected
  • Can detect antibodies Antibodies Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions against T. gondii
  • Can detect anti-cysticercal antibodies Antibodies Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions

Management

Management is based on a combination of medical and surgical treatment.

Medical management

Antibiotics:

  • Empiric treatment is directed toward the suspected etiology and source of the abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Administration is via the IV route for a minimum duration of 4–8 weeks.
  • Infection from a direct source:
    • Metronidazole Metronidazole A nitroimidazole used to treat amebiasis; vaginitis; trichomonas infections; giardiasis; anaerobic bacteria; and treponemal infections. Pyogenic Liver Abscess + ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone A broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and cefotaxime derivative with a very long half-life and high penetrability to meninges, eyes and inner ears. Cephalosporins/ cefotaxime Cefotaxime Semisynthetic broad-spectrum cephalosporin. Cephalosporins
  • Infection from hematogenous Hematogenous Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) and Liver Metastases spread:
    • MRSA MRSA A strain of Staphylococcus aureus that is non-susceptible to the action of methicillin. The mechanism of resistance usually involves modification of normal or the presence of acquired penicillin binding proteins. Staphylococcus: vancomycin Vancomycin Antibacterial obtained from streptomyces orientalis. It is a glycopeptide related to ristocetin that inhibits bacterial cell wall assembly and is toxic to kidneys and the inner ear. Glycopeptides + metronidazole Metronidazole A nitroimidazole used to treat amebiasis; vaginitis; trichomonas infections; giardiasis; anaerobic bacteria; and treponemal infections. Pyogenic Liver Abscess + ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone A broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and cefotaxime derivative with a very long half-life and high penetrability to meninges, eyes and inner ears. Cephalosporins/ cefotaxime Cefotaxime Semisynthetic broad-spectrum cephalosporin. Cephalosporins 
    • MSSA: nafcillin Nafcillin A semi-synthetic antibiotic related to penicillin. Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSSS)/oxacillin + metronidazole Metronidazole A nitroimidazole used to treat amebiasis; vaginitis; trichomonas infections; giardiasis; anaerobic bacteria; and treponemal infections. Pyogenic Liver Abscess + ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone A broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and cefotaxime derivative with a very long half-life and high penetrability to meninges, eyes and inner ears. Cephalosporins/ cefotaxime Cefotaxime Semisynthetic broad-spectrum cephalosporin. Cephalosporins 
  • Postsurgical infection (head and neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess area): 
    • MRSA MRSA A strain of Staphylococcus aureus that is non-susceptible to the action of methicillin. The mechanism of resistance usually involves modification of normal or the presence of acquired penicillin binding proteins. Staphylococcus: vancomycin Vancomycin Antibacterial obtained from streptomyces orientalis. It is a glycopeptide related to ristocetin that inhibits bacterial cell wall assembly and is toxic to kidneys and the inner ear. Glycopeptides + ceftazidime Ceftazidime Semisynthetic, broad-spectrum antibacterial derived from cephaloridine and used especially for pseudomonas and other gram-negative infections in debilitated patients. Cephalosporins/ cefepime Cefepime A fourth-generation cephalosporin antibacterial agent that is used in the treatment of infections, including those of the abdomen, urinary tract, respiratory tract, and skin. It is effective against pseudomonas aeruginosa and may also be used in the empiric treatment of febrile neutropenia. Cephalosporins or meropenem Meropenem A thienamycin derivative antibacterial agent that is more stable to renal dehydropeptidase I than imipenem, but does not need to be given with an enzyme inhibitor such as cilastatin. It is used in the treatment of bacterial infections, including infections in immunocompromised patients. Carbapenems and Aztreonam
    • MSSA: naficillin/oxacillin + ceftazidime Ceftazidime Semisynthetic, broad-spectrum antibacterial derived from cephaloridine and used especially for pseudomonas and other gram-negative infections in debilitated patients. Cephalosporins/ cefepime Cefepime A fourth-generation cephalosporin antibacterial agent that is used in the treatment of infections, including those of the abdomen, urinary tract, respiratory tract, and skin. It is effective against pseudomonas aeruginosa and may also be used in the empiric treatment of febrile neutropenia. Cephalosporins or meropenem Meropenem A thienamycin derivative antibacterial agent that is more stable to renal dehydropeptidase I than imipenem, but does not need to be given with an enzyme inhibitor such as cilastatin. It is used in the treatment of bacterial infections, including infections in immunocompromised patients. Carbapenems and Aztreonam
  • Infection due to penetrating trauma:
    • MRSA MRSA A strain of Staphylococcus aureus that is non-susceptible to the action of methicillin. The mechanism of resistance usually involves modification of normal or the presence of acquired penicillin binding proteins. Staphylococcus: vancomycin Vancomycin Antibacterial obtained from streptomyces orientalis. It is a glycopeptide related to ristocetin that inhibits bacterial cell wall assembly and is toxic to kidneys and the inner ear. Glycopeptides + ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone A broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and cefotaxime derivative with a very long half-life and high penetrability to meninges, eyes and inner ears. Cephalosporins/ cefotaxime Cefotaxime Semisynthetic broad-spectrum cephalosporin. Cephalosporins 
    • MSSA: nafcillin Nafcillin A semi-synthetic antibiotic related to penicillin. Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSSS)/oxacillin + ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone A broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and cefotaxime derivative with a very long half-life and high penetrability to meninges, eyes and inner ears. Cephalosporins/ cefotaxime Cefotaxime Semisynthetic broad-spectrum cephalosporin. Cephalosporins
    • Suspected Pseudomonas Pseudomonas Pseudomonas is a non-lactose-fermenting, gram-negative bacillus that produces pyocyanin, which gives it a characteristic blue-green color. Pseudomonas is found ubiquitously in the environment, as well as in moist reservoirs, such as hospital sinks and respiratory equipment. Pseudomonas infection: vancomycin Vancomycin Antibacterial obtained from streptomyces orientalis. It is a glycopeptide related to ristocetin that inhibits bacterial cell wall assembly and is toxic to kidneys and the inner ear. Glycopeptides + cefepime Cefepime A fourth-generation cephalosporin antibacterial agent that is used in the treatment of infections, including those of the abdomen, urinary tract, respiratory tract, and skin. It is effective against pseudomonas aeruginosa and may also be used in the empiric treatment of febrile neutropenia. Cephalosporins 
  • Unknown source:
    • Normal regimen: vancomycin Vancomycin Antibacterial obtained from streptomyces orientalis. It is a glycopeptide related to ristocetin that inhibits bacterial cell wall assembly and is toxic to kidneys and the inner ear. Glycopeptides + metronidazole Metronidazole A nitroimidazole used to treat amebiasis; vaginitis; trichomonas infections; giardiasis; anaerobic bacteria; and treponemal infections. Pyogenic Liver Abscess + ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone A broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and cefotaxime derivative with a very long half-life and high penetrability to meninges, eyes and inner ears. Cephalosporins/ cefotaxime Cefotaxime Semisynthetic broad-spectrum cephalosporin. Cephalosporins
    • Suspected Pseudomonas Pseudomonas Pseudomonas is a non-lactose-fermenting, gram-negative bacillus that produces pyocyanin, which gives it a characteristic blue-green color. Pseudomonas is found ubiquitously in the environment, as well as in moist reservoirs, such as hospital sinks and respiratory equipment. Pseudomonas infection: vancomycin Vancomycin Antibacterial obtained from streptomyces orientalis. It is a glycopeptide related to ristocetin that inhibits bacterial cell wall assembly and is toxic to kidneys and the inner ear. Glycopeptides + metronidazole Metronidazole A nitroimidazole used to treat amebiasis; vaginitis; trichomonas infections; giardiasis; anaerobic bacteria; and treponemal infections. Pyogenic Liver Abscess + cefepime Cefepime A fourth-generation cephalosporin antibacterial agent that is used in the treatment of infections, including those of the abdomen, urinary tract, respiratory tract, and skin. It is effective against pseudomonas aeruginosa and may also be used in the empiric treatment of febrile neutropenia. Cephalosporins 

Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids are a class within the corticosteroid family. Glucocorticoids are chemically and functionally similar to endogenous cortisol. There are a wide array of indications, which primarily benefit from the antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of this class of drugs. Glucocorticoids:

  • Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids are a class within the corticosteroid family. Glucocorticoids are chemically and functionally similar to endogenous cortisol. There are a wide array of indications, which primarily benefit from the antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of this class of drugs. Glucocorticoids are considered in the setting of substantial mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast effect.
  • Should be discontinued once mental status and neurologic manifestations have improved due to associated complications

Surgical management

Needle aspiration Needle aspiration Using fine needles (finer than 22-gauge) to remove tissue or fluid specimens from the living body for examination in the pathology laboratory and for disease diagnosis. Peritonsillar Abscess:

  • Associated with fewer complications than surgical excision (preferred)
  • A burr hole Burr Hole Subdural Hemorrhage is drilled under image guidance.
  • An aspiration needle is passed through the burr hole Burr Hole Subdural Hemorrhage.
  • Aspirate is sent for laboratory/pathologic analysis. 
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation
    • Early cerebritis without evident central necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage (liquification)
    • Abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease in vital regions or inaccessible regions 

Surgical excision:

  • Associated with more complications than needle aspiration Needle aspiration Using fine needles (finer than 22-gauge) to remove tissue or fluid specimens from the living body for examination in the pathology laboratory and for disease diagnosis. Peritonsillar Abscess
  • Treatment of choice in:
    • Traumatic brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (with bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types chips/ foreign bodies)
    • Multiloculated abscesses 
    • Encapsulated Encapsulated Klebsiella fungal brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Indications for surgical excision after needle aspiration Needle aspiration Using fine needles (finer than 22-gauge) to remove tissue or fluid specimens from the living body for examination in the pathology laboratory and for disease diagnosis. Peritonsillar Abscess:
    • Lack of clinical improvement 1 week after needle aspiration Needle aspiration Using fine needles (finer than 22-gauge) to remove tissue or fluid specimens from the living body for examination in the pathology laboratory and for disease diagnosis. Peritonsillar Abscess
    • Depressed sensorium
    • Increased intracranial pressure Increased Intracranial Pressure Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)
    • Progressive increase in the diameter of the abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease

Surgical intervention could be avoided if:

  • Patient presents with early cerebritis without evidence of necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage
  • Abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease is in a vital location or inaccessible

Prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

  • Mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status is approximately 10%.
  • Full recovery rate is 70%.
  • Most common neurologic sequelae is seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures.

Differential Diagnosis

  • Neurocysticercosis Neurocysticercosis Infection of the brain, spinal cord, or perimeningeal structures with the larval forms of the genus taenia (primarily T. solium in humans). Lesions formed by the organism are referred to as cysticerci. The infection may be subacute or chronic, and the severity of symptoms depends on the severity of the host immune response and the location and number of lesions. Seizures represent the most common clinical manifestation although focal neurologic deficits may occur. Taenia/Taeniasis: cysts Cysts Any fluid-filled closed cavity or sac that is lined by an epithelium. Cysts can be of normal, abnormal, non-neoplastic, or neoplastic tissues. Fibrocystic Change in the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification caused by an infection from the parasite Taenia Taenia Taenia belong to the Cestoda class of helminths. Humans are infected with these tapeworms by eating undercooked beef (T. saginata) or pork (T. solium and T. asiatica). Taeniasis is often asymptomatic, but the ingestion of larvae can cause abdominal discomfort, nausea, and constipation or diarrhea. Taenia/Taeniasis solium. Presents with epilepsy Epilepsy Epilepsy is a chronic brain disorder marked by recurrent and unprovoked seizures. These seizures can be classified as focal or generalized and idiopathic or secondary to another condition. Clinical presentation correlates to the classification of the epileptic disorder. Epilepsy, headache, raised intracranial pressure Intracranial Pressure Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, dementia Dementia Major neurocognitive disorders (NCD), also known as dementia, are a group of diseases characterized by decline in a person’s memory and executive function. These disorders are progressive and persistent diseases that are the leading cause of disability among elderly people worldwide. Major Neurocognitive Disorders, and dysarthria Dysarthria Disorders of speech articulation caused by imperfect coordination of pharynx, larynx, tongue, or face muscles. This may result from cranial nerve diseases; neuromuscular diseases; cerebellar diseases; basal ganglia diseases; brain stem diseases; or diseases of the corticobulbar tracts. The cortical language centers are intact in this condition. Wilson’s Disease. Confirmatory diagnosis is by imaging. Management includes antiparasitics and possible surgical intervention.
  • Intracranial tumor Tumor Inflammation: a benign Benign Fibroadenoma or malignant growth of cells in the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification that presents as headache, unexplained nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics or vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, blurred vision Blurred Vision Retinal Detachment, and difficulty in speech or hearing. The main diagnosis is by imaging (MRI or CT) and a neurological examination Neurological examination A neurological exam is a systematic assessment of cognitive, sensory, and motor responses to identify pathologies of the nervous system. A neurological exam allows for the localization of neurologic lesions to narrow the differential diagnosis and focus on subsequent laboratory and imaging examinations. The exam should include assessments of the subject’s mental status, speech, cranial nerves, motor system, deep tendon reflexes, sensation, balance, and coordination. Neurological Examination. Management includes radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma, chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma, and surgery.
  • Encephalitis Encephalitis Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain parenchyma caused by an infection, usually viral. Encephalitis may present with mild symptoms such as headache, fever, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain or with severe symptoms such as seizures, altered consciousness, and paralysis. Encephalitis: infectious Infectious Febrile Infant inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification parenchyma. Presents with fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, headache, pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways in muscles and joints, and fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia. Diagnosed by imaging, CSF analysis CSF analysis Meningitis, lab tests, and electroencephalogram. Rarely presents with nuchal rigidity Rigidity Continuous involuntary sustained muscle contraction which is often a manifestation of basal ganglia diseases. When an affected muscle is passively stretched, the degree of resistance remains constant regardless of the rate at which the muscle is stretched. This feature helps to distinguish rigidity from muscle spasticity. Megacolon and photophobia Photophobia Abnormal sensitivity to light. This may occur as a manifestation of eye diseases; migraine; subarachnoid hemorrhage; meningitis; and other disorders. Photophobia may also occur in association with depression and other mental disorders. Migraine Headache. Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures are common. Supportive management, antiinflammatory drugs, and antiviral Antiviral Antivirals for Hepatitis B drugs are used to manage encephalitis Encephalitis Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain parenchyma caused by an infection, usually viral. Encephalitis may present with mild symptoms such as headache, fever, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain or with severe symptoms such as seizures, altered consciousness, and paralysis. Encephalitis.
  • Meningitis Meningitis Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the protective membranes of the brain, and spinal cord. The causes of meningitis are varied, with the most common being bacterial or viral infection. The classic presentation of meningitis is a triad of fever, altered mental status, and nuchal rigidity. Meningitis: inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the meninges Meninges The brain and the spinal cord are enveloped by 3 overlapping layers of connective tissue called the meninges. The layers are, from the most external layer to the most internal layer, the dura mater, arachnoid mater, and pia mater. Between these layers are 3 potential spaces called the epidural, subdural, and subarachnoid spaces. Meninges: Anatomy usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Clinically presents with headache, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, and nuchal rigidity Rigidity Continuous involuntary sustained muscle contraction which is often a manifestation of basal ganglia diseases. When an affected muscle is passively stretched, the degree of resistance remains constant regardless of the rate at which the muscle is stretched. This feature helps to distinguish rigidity from muscle spasticity. Megacolon and is diagnosed by clinical presentation, blood tests, CSF analysis CSF analysis Meningitis, and imaging. Management includes supportive treatment and antimicrobials directed against the infectious Infectious Febrile Infant agent.

References

  1. Southwick FS. (2020). Pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of brain abscess. UpToDate. Retrieved April 22, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/pathogenesis-clinical-manifestations-and-diagnosis-of-brain-abscess
  2. Southwick FS. (2019). Treatment and prognosis of bacterial brain abscess. UpToDate. Retrieved April 22, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-and-prognosis-of-bacterial-brain-abscess
  3. Brook I. (2021). Brain Abscess. Medscape. https://reference.medscape.com/article/212946-overview
  4. Cerebral Abscess. John Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/cerebral-abscess
  5. Bokhari MR, Mesfin FB. (2020). Brain Abscess. NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441841/

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