Diagnosis and management of brain abscess and subdural empyema

Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2004 Nov;4(6):448-56. doi: 10.1007/s11910-004-0067-8.


Advances in the diagnosis and treatment of brain abscess and subdural empyema with neuroimaging techniques such as computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, the availability of new antimicrobials, and the development of novel surgical techniques have significantly contributed to the decreased morbidity and mortality associated these infections. Determination of point of entry and source of infection is paramount to adequate treatment. A high index of suspicion along with typical clinical presentation of headache, seizures, or focal neurologic signs can lead to early diagnosis so that effective therapy can be instituted as soon as possible. This review discusses etiology and pathology of brain abscess and subdural empyema, neuroimaging techniques useful in the diagnosis, and optimal treatment, including use of antimicrobials and surgical procedures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Abscess / diagnosis*
  • Brain Abscess / therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Empyema, Subdural / diagnosis*
  • Empyema, Subdural / therapy
  • Head / pathology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging