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World Neurosurg. 2012 Dec;78(6):712-4. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2011.09.024. Epub 2011 Nov 1.

Early multimodality treatment of intracranial abscesses.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The treatment of brain abscesses remains one of the success stories of contemporary neurosurgery; what began as a nearly uniformly fatal disease at the turn of the 20th century has become a largely curable ailment through the use of operative and pharmaceutical intervention.

METHODS:

Following institutional review board approval, and through the courtesy of the Alan Mason Chesney Archives, the surgical files of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1896 to 1912, were reviewed.

RESULTS:

A total of six patients were operated on for intracranial abscesses. Three patients died during their admission, the remaining three were discharged with a condition listed as "improved" or "well."

CONCLUSIONS:

Cushing employed a variety of operative drainage techniques for intracranial abscesses and implemented an early antibacterial agent to provide adjuvant treatment in one patient. Although these cases demonstrate a 50% mortality rate, they provide insight into the challenges faced by neurosurgeons treating intracranial abscesses at the turn of the 20th century.

PMID:
22120258
DOI:
10.1016/j.wneu.2011.09.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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