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Neurosurg Rev. 2006 Apr;29(2):163-6; discussion 166-7. Epub 2006 Feb 24.

Pyogenic infections of the central nervous system secondary to dental affections--a report of six cases.

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Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Klinikum der Friedrich Schiller Universität, Erlanger Allee 101, Jena, Germany.


Pyogenic infections of the central nervous system of dental origin are quite uncommon in industrialized countries. We report six cases with intracerebral (n = 4) and intraspinal (n = 2) infections treated in our hospital. The microbial pathogen was successfully isolated in all patients. Fusobacterium nucleatum as well as Streptococcus species were found in three cases. Bacillus species were identified in two patients. Actinomyces was the etiologic agent in one case. All patients suffered from dental pathologies, so that after clinical and radiological exclusion of other sources an oral focus was presumed. Therapeutic management consisted of an operative procedure in order to obtain decompression, as well as evacuation of the pus on the one hand, followed by targeted antibiotics on the other. Clinical improvement was achieved in all patients, with one patient lost to follow-up. On magnetic resonance tomography, the inflammatory changes also disappeared in all cases. We recommend that oral infection with recurrent bacteraemia should always be considered in the pathogenesis of the so-called "cryptic" intracerebral and intraspinal infections.

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