Treatment of Nocardial Brain Abscess in a Patient With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura: Case Report and a Review of the Literature

Cureus. 2021 Aug 27;13(8):e17498. doi: 10.7759/cureus.17498. eCollection 2021 Aug.


Brain abscesses due to Nocardia species account for 1-2% of all cerebral abscesses, often in immunosuppressed individuals, with a mortality three times higher than other cerebral abscesses. Early diagnosis and management are vital for good outcomes. We report a case of a right frontal Nocardia brain abscess in an immunosuppressed 38-year-old female. She presented with headaches, confusion, memory deficits, and personality change. She remained systemically well, with normal inflammatory markers. She underwent two open surgical drainages, with excision of the abscess wall. She made an excellent recovery with minimal edema and no contrast enhancement on imaging at eight weeks postoperatively. Management of Nocardia brain abscess includes a prompt diagnosis with direct microscopic examination and initiation of correct antibiotic therapy for good outcomes. We recommend open surgical resection, including excision of the abscess wall, followed by long-term antimicrobial therapy, to enhance the rate of recovery.

Keywords: abscess wall; brain abscess; neurosurgery; nocardia species; treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports