Vol 53, No 2 (2019)
Research paper
Published online: 2019-04-25
Submitted: 2018-11-30
Accepted: 2019-03-11
Get Citation

Brain abscess and pyocephalus: our experience with treatment

Zdeněk Večeřa, Ondřej Krejčí, Tomáš Krejčí, Jan Krajča, Martin Kanta, Radim Lipina
DOI: 10.5603/PJNNS.a2019.0017
·
Pubmed: 31020989
·
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2019;53(2):162-168.

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Vol 53, No 2 (2019)
Research paper
Published online: 2019-04-25
Submitted: 2018-11-30
Accepted: 2019-03-11

Abstract

Introduction. Pyocephalus always presents serious complications in the treatment of brain abscesses, and is associated with high rates of mortality and morbidity. This study aimed to comprehensively evaluate this understandably feared complication from a purely medical perspective by using an evidence-based approach and drawing comparisons from the available literature, which mostly comprises case reports.

Methods. This was a prospective monocentric study of all patients treated for brain abscesses at the Neurosurgery Clinic of the University Hospital Ostrava between 2012 and 2017. The cohort was divided into two groups for statistical comparison; one group comprised those in which pyocephalus occurred before or during treatment, while the other group comprised patients without this complication. Particular consideration was given to the effect of pyocephalus on morbidity and mortality rates and C-reactive protein levels, as well as to the identification of risk factors, and to its possible therapeutic influence. Patients were followed up for six months.

Results. A total of 43 patients were treated for a brain abscess. An unequivocal diagnosis of pyocephalus was established via CT and MRI brain scans in five cases (11.6%). In the cohort as a whole, mortality and morbidity rates were 23.3% and 48.8% respectively. Among patients with pyocephalus the incidence of mortality and morbidity was 40% and 66.6% respectively. The presence of pyocephalus is not a significant predictor of either morbidity (p 0.575) or mortality (p 0.664). In patients with pyocephalus, we determined elevated CRP levels on the day of surgery (p 0.038). The occurrence of epileptic seizures in the acute phase of the disease is associated with a poor outcome (p 0.039).

Conclusions. Pyocephalus will continue to be a serious complication in the treatment of brain abscesses, although we were unable to determine its utility as a prognostic factor. Patients with this complication have elevated CRP levels on the day of operation.

Abstract

Introduction. Pyocephalus always presents serious complications in the treatment of brain abscesses, and is associated with high rates of mortality and morbidity. This study aimed to comprehensively evaluate this understandably feared complication from a purely medical perspective by using an evidence-based approach and drawing comparisons from the available literature, which mostly comprises case reports.

Methods. This was a prospective monocentric study of all patients treated for brain abscesses at the Neurosurgery Clinic of the University Hospital Ostrava between 2012 and 2017. The cohort was divided into two groups for statistical comparison; one group comprised those in which pyocephalus occurred before or during treatment, while the other group comprised patients without this complication. Particular consideration was given to the effect of pyocephalus on morbidity and mortality rates and C-reactive protein levels, as well as to the identification of risk factors, and to its possible therapeutic influence. Patients were followed up for six months.

Results. A total of 43 patients were treated for a brain abscess. An unequivocal diagnosis of pyocephalus was established via CT and MRI brain scans in five cases (11.6%). In the cohort as a whole, mortality and morbidity rates were 23.3% and 48.8% respectively. Among patients with pyocephalus the incidence of mortality and morbidity was 40% and 66.6% respectively. The presence of pyocephalus is not a significant predictor of either morbidity (p 0.575) or mortality (p 0.664). In patients with pyocephalus, we determined elevated CRP levels on the day of surgery (p 0.038). The occurrence of epileptic seizures in the acute phase of the disease is associated with a poor outcome (p 0.039).

Conclusions. Pyocephalus will continue to be a serious complication in the treatment of brain abscesses, although we were unable to determine its utility as a prognostic factor. Patients with this complication have elevated CRP levels on the day of operation.

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Keywords

brain abscess, pyocephalus, mortality, ventriculitis, intraventricular rupture

About this article
Title

Brain abscess and pyocephalus: our experience with treatment

Journal

Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska

Issue

Vol 53, No 2 (2019)

Pages

162-168

Published online

2019-04-25

DOI

10.5603/PJNNS.a2019.0017

Pubmed

31020989

Bibliographic record

Neurol Neurochir Pol 2019;53(2):162-168.

Keywords

brain abscess
pyocephalus
mortality
ventriculitis
intraventricular rupture

Authors

Zdeněk Večeřa
Ondřej Krejčí
Tomáš Krejčí
Jan Krajča
Martin Kanta
Radim Lipina

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