Skip to main content


Log in

Clinical features and outcome analysis of 90 cases with brain abscess in central China

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Neurological Sciences Aims and scope Submit manuscript


The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical features and outcomes of brain abscess in patients in central China. Ninety consecutive patients with brain abscess were studied retrospectively. The rate of positive bacterial culture in the present series was 12%. The outcome of superficial abscesses was better than those of abscesses in deep-seated locations (p<0.01); multiple brain abscesses led to significantly poorer outcomes than unilocated abscesses (p<0.01). There was no significant difference between the paediatric group and the adult group (p>0.05). Differences in outcomes between intrathecal injection combined with systemic administration of antibiotics vs. only venous administration could not be found (p>0.05). The clinical effectiveness of tertiary-generation cephalosporin+vancomycin+metronidazole for bacterial brain abscess was 88%. Therefore, combined antibiotics in cases with no evidence of positive culture in brain abscess are strongly recommended.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Xiao F, Tseng MY, Teng LJ et al (2005). Brain abscess: clinical experience and analysis of prognostic factors. Surg Neurol 63:442–449

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Garg M, Gupta RK, Husain M et al (2004) Brain abscesses: etiologic categorization with in vivo proton MR spectroscopy. Radiology 230:519–527

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Boviatsis EJ, Kouyialis A T, Stranjalis G et al (2003) CT-guided stereotactic aspiration of brain abscesses. Neurosurg Rev 26:206–209

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Faraji-Rad M, Samini F (2007) Clinical features and outcome of 83 adult patients with brain abscess. Arch Iran Med 10:379–382

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Auvichayapat N, Auvichayapat P, Aungwarawong S (2007) Brain abscess in infants and children: a retrospective study of 107 patients in northeast Thailand. J Med Assoc Thai 90:1601–1607

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Tseng J H, Tseng M Y (2006) Brain abscess in 142 patients: factors influencing outcome and mortality. Surg Neurol 65:557–562

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Kulai A, Ozatik N, Topcu I (1990) Otogenic intracranial abscesses. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 107:140–146

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Bhand AA (2004) Brain abscess-diagnosis and management. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 14:407–410

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Prasad KN, Mishra AM, Gupta D et al (2006) Analysis of microbial etiology and mortality in patients with brain abscess. J Infection 53:221–227

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Haimes AB, Zimmerman RD, Morgello S et al (1989) MR imaging of brain abscesses. AJR Am J Roentgenol 152:1073–1085

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Lai PH, Hsu SS, Ding SW et al (2007) Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and diffusion-weighted imaging in intracranial cystic mass lesion. Surg Neurol 68:S25–36

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Fertikh D, Krejza J, Cunqueiro A et al (2007) Discrimination of capsular stage brain abscesses from necrotic or cystic neoplasms using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. J Neurosurg 106:76–81

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Chang SC, Lai PH, Chen WL et al (2002) Diffusion-weighted MRI features of brain abscess and cystic or necrotic brain tumors: comparison with conventional MRI. Clin Imaging 26:227–236

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Longatti P, Perin A, Ettorre F et al (2006) Endoscopic treatment of brain abscesses. Childs Nerv Syst 22:1447–1450

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Fritsch M, Manwaring KH (1997) Endoscopic treatment of brain abscess in children. Minim Invasive Neurosurg 40:103–106

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Yadav YR, Sinha M, Neha, Parihar V (2008) Endoscopic management of brain abscesses. Neurol India 56:13–16

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Takeshita M, Kagawa M, Izawa M et al (1998) Current treatment strategies and factors influencing outcome in patients with bacterial brain abscess. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 140:1263–1270

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Pfausler B, Spiss H, Beer R et al (2003) Treatment of staphylococcal ventriculitis associated with external cerebrospinal fluid drains: a prospective randomized trial of intravenous compared with intraventricular vancomycin therapy. J Neurosurg 98:1040–1044

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Arnell K, Enblad P, Wester T et al (2007) Treatment of cerebrospinal fluid shunt infections in children using systemic and intraventricular antibiotic therapy in combination with externalization of the ventricular catheter: efficacy in 34 consecutively treated infections. J Neurosurg 107:213–219

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Faust SN, Pathan N, Levin M (2005) Bacterial meningitis and brain abscess. Nervous system infections. Medicine. The Medicine Publishing Company Ltd., pp 55–60

  21. Lu CH, Chang WN, Lui CC (2006) Strategies for the management of bacterial brain abscess. J Clin Neurosci 13:979–985

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Pfausler B, Haring HP, Kampf I A et al (1997) Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pharmacokinetics of intraventricular vancomycin in patients with staphylococcal ventriculitis associated with external CSF drainage. Clin Infect Dis 25:733–735

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Gnanalingham KK, Elsaghier A, Kibbler C et al (2003) The impact of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus in a neurosurgical unit: a growing problem. J Neurosurg 98:8–13

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fuyou Guo.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Song, L., Guo, F., Zhang, W. et al. Clinical features and outcome analysis of 90 cases with brain abscess in central China. Neurol Sci 29, 425–430 (2008).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: