CT-guided stereotactic aspiration of brain abscesses

Neurosurg Rev. 2003 Jul;26(3):206-9. doi: 10.1007/s10143-003-0257-x. Epub 2003 Mar 27.


The effective treatment of intracranial abscess remains controversial. Progress in technology, linked with the development of neuronavigational systems, has made stereotactic aspiration and drainage of intracerebral abscesses effective and valid alternatives to traditional methods, namely, conservative medical treatment or open surgical excision. Between 1995 and 2002, 12 patients at our hospital underwent drainage of intracerebral abscesses under stereotactic guidance. Ten patients had solitary lesions and two had multiple abscesses. The appropriate antibiotic schemes were administered following culture of the aspirated material. The size of the abscess, the mass effect, and response to antibiotic treatment were followed up by repeated CT scans. All patients showed improvement and, at the end of treatment, returned to their previous activities. There were neither deaths nor any postoperative complication. A second aspiration was required in one patient due to recurrence of the abscess. The CT-guided stereotactic aspiration of brain abscesses helps achieve all treatment goals. It drains the contents of the abscess, reduces mass effect, and confirms diagnosis. It is minimally invasive, carries minimal morbidity and mortality, and can be performed on compromised patients under local anesthesia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Abscess / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Abscess / pathology
  • Brain Abscess / surgery*
  • Drainage*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted*
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*