Donaldson, G. ; Webster, Dwight; Crandon, Ivor W.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Surgery, Radiology, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Brain abscess at the University Hospital of the West Indies
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
Surgical infections of the central nervous system are still attended by high rates of morbidity and mortality, although substantial progress has been made since the advent of computed tomography (CT) scanning technology. In this retrospective review of 25 surgically treated patients with either brain abscess or subdural empyema at the University Hospital of the West Indies, the majority of patients were male and between the ages of 10 and 30 years with a mean age of 16.9 years. Almost half the patients had a hemiparesis on presentation while 60% had fever. Subdural empyema was more common than a localized intracerebral abscess which was most frequently located in the frontal lobe. The most common predisposing factors were sinusitis and congenital heart disease. Streptococci spp and Staphylococci spp were the most frequently isolated organisms. All patients underwent CT scanning and surgical intervention. The mortality rate was 20%, and 21% of the survivors had late seizures. There must be a high index of clinical suspicion and early referral to specialist centres where neuroradiological investigation and prompt neurosurgical intervention can be carried out to minimize morbidity and mortality.....