Role of stereotactic aspiration in the management of tuberculous brain abscess

Surg Neurol. 1999 Apr;51(4):443-6; discussion 446-7. doi: 10.1016/s0090-3019(98)00122-0.


Background: Intracranial tuberculous abscesses are uncommon clinical entities, even in countries where tuberculosis is endemic. Surgical excision and antituberculous treatment is the treatment of choice. The role of stereotactic aspiration in the management of these lesions is highlighted in this communication.

Methods: Three patients, all receiving treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis, presented with symptoms of raised intracranial pressure and neurological deficits. Computed tomography (CT) scans revealed cystic lesions with enhancing rim in the thalamus in two patients and multiple coalescing cystic lesions in the deep temporal region in another.

Results: Stereotactic aspiration of the cyst and biopsy of the cyst wall were performed in all. In two, the pus revealed acid fast bacilli (AFB). In another, though the pus did not reveal any AFB, the wall showed tuberculous granuloma. Antituberculous treatment was continued in all the patients. Follow-up CT revealed resolution of the lesions in all patients.

Conclusion: Stereotactic aspiration is an useful alternative modality of management of tuberculous abscesses in a selected group of patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Abscess / microbiology*
  • Brain Abscess / therapy*
  • Drainage / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculoma, Intracranial / complications
  • Tuberculoma, Intracranial / therapy*