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Neurosurgery. 1997 Dec;41(6):1270-8; discussion 1278-9.

Current treatment of brain abscess in patients with congenital cyanotic heart disease.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Heart Institute of Japan, Tokyo Women's Medical College, Japan.



The goal of this study was to define clearly the role of management in patients with cyanotic heart disease and brain abscesses by evaluating retrospectively the factors influencing poor outcome in these patients.


This study included 62 patients with cyanotic heart disease and brain abscesses diagnosed in the computed tomography era. Basic characteristic parameters (number, size, location, computed tomographic classification and organism type of abscess, convulsion, type of cyanotic heart disease, age distribution, immunocompromised status, pretreatment neurological state, and intraventricular rupture of brain abscess [IVROBA]) and therapeutic parameters (type of antibiotics and duration of administration, steroid medication and therapeutic modalities, aspiration with or without cerebrospinal fluid drainage, total extirpation after aspiration, or primary extirpation and medical treatment) were evaluated as independent predictors of poor outcome (totally disabled state or death) by using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. We also statistically estimated the possible causes of IVROBA and the multiplicity of brain abscess.


Although there were no statistically significant correlations between patients with good and poor outcomes in regard to other basic characteristic and therapeutic parameters, patients with poor outcomes were older (P < 0.02), more frequently had IVROBA (P < 0.005), and had a higher frequency of neurological deterioration (P < 0.01) than those with good outcomes. Multiple logistic regression analysis predicted that poor outcome increased the relative risk of IVROBA by a factor of 18.9 (odds rate, 18.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.7-211.6; P < 0.02). More patients with multiple abscesses had positive immunocompromised states than those with single abscesses (P < 0.01). Deep-located abscesses also more frequently had IVROBA (P < 0.005) and abscesses located in the parieto-occipital region ruptured into the occipital horn of the lateral ventricle in a short period (P < 0.02).


Our findings suggest that IVROBA strongly influences poor outcome in patients with cyanotic heart disease. The key to decreasing poor outcomes may be the prevention and management of IVROBA. To reduce operative and anesthetic risk in these patients, abscesses should be managed by less invasive aspiration methods guided by computed tomography. Abscesses larger than 2 cm in diameter, in deep-located or parieto-occipital regions, should be aspirated immediately and repeatedly, mainly using computed tomography-guided methods to decrease intracranial pressure and avoid IVROBA. IVROBA should be aggressively treated by aspiration methods for the abscess coupled with the appropriate intravenous and intrathecal administration of antibiotics while evaluating intracranial pressure pathophysiology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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