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Neurosurgery. 2007 Oct;61(4):869-72; discussion 872.

On the report of the first successful surgical treatment of brain abscess in the Ottoman Empire by Dr. Cemil Topuzlu in 1891.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Institute for Neurological Sciences and Psychiatry, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.


IN 1891, Dr. Cemil Topuzlu operated on a brain abscess that originated as a complication of a depression fracture of the cranial inner table. The patient presented with Jacksonian seizures on his left side after a sharp trauma resulting in a 15 cm-long scalp laceration and underlying linear cranial fracture in the right parietal bone. Dr. Topuzlu attributed Jacksonian epilepsy to the fracture irritating the motor area in the right hemisphere and attempted a craniotomy based on his measurements to localize the Rolandic fissure. The operation was complicated by a brain abscess, and Dr. Topuzlu reoperated to drain the abscess. He successfully treated the brain abscess and Jacksonian seizures and then presented this case in the Royal Society of Medicine of the Ottoman Empire and in the International Surgery Congress in Lyon in 1894. The case report was published in his surgery book in 1905. The case was not only the first case of brain abscess to be treated successfully with surgical intervention in the Ottoman Empire, it was also one of the first cases of neurological surgery performed using contemporary anesthesiological and surgical techniques, which reveals the importance of neurological examination and cerebral localization techniques in the era before x-rays. Dr. Topuzlu was the founder of modern surgery in the Ottoman Empire and deserves to be credited for his novel applications in the 19th century.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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