[Munchausen syndrome, a factitious injury, presenting brain abscess and intraventricular hemorrhage: a case report]

No Shinkei Geka. 2011 Apr;39(4):381-6.
[Article in Japanese]


Munchausen syndrome is a factitious disorder. Patients sometimes inflict injury on themselves in order to assume a sick role. The authors report a patient with Munchausen syndrome suffered from brain abscess, reopened wound and intraventricular hemorrhage. A 64-year-old male was admitted to our hospital after head injury. CT and MR imaging revealed a mass with surrounding edema in the right frontal lobe. The mass was surgically removed, and diagnosed as brain abscess. During the surgery, the authors noticed a small bone defect in the frontal bone above the brain abscess; therefore, we considered that head injury just concerned this lesion. There were no particular clues leading to other possible pathologies. After the first surgery, the patient presented atypical seizures several times. Once we discharged him from our hospital, we hospitalized him again because the wound had reopened. A subsequent operation was needed, and we removed the bone flap which we considered the origin of the infection. After the second surgery, he stabbed a nail into his head where the bone had been removed due to the previous surgery, and presented intraventricular hemorrhage. The hemorrhage decreased in size through non-surgical treatment and he was referred to the psychiatry department under a diagnosis of Munchausen syndrome. Diagnosis of this entity is difficult and often made at the later stage of hospitalization, because patients present a variety of complaints and clinical symptoms, which are hardly proved factitious. Early consideration of this syndrome will offer an early and accurate diagnosis, and is mandatory for a good prognosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Abscess / etiology*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Munchausen Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Self-Injurious Behavior