Brain Abscess

In: Science

Brain Abscess

-an infection in the brain that is encapsulated (confined within its own area) and localized to one or more areas inside of the brain
-a collection of immune cells, pus, and other material in the brain, usually from a bacterial or fungal infection
-occur in all children, but are more common in young school-aged children and occur twice as often in males than in females
-usually associated with congenital heart disease in young children

-Direct extension of cranial infections (osteomyelitis, mastoiditis, sinusitis, subdural empyema)
-Penetrating head wounds (including neurosurgical procedures)
-Hematogenous spread (in bacterial endocarditis, congenital heart disease with right-to-left shunt, or IV drug abuse)

Signs and Symptoms
  * Hemiparesis
  * Aphasia
  * Seizure
  * Frontal headache
  * Localized headache
  * Changes in vision
  * Facial weakness
  * Aphasia
  * Occipital headache
  * Ataxia (inability to coordinate movements)
  * Nystagmus (rhythmic, involuntary movements of the eye)
  * In babies and younger children:
  * Fever
  * A full or bulging fontanelle (soft spot located on the top of the head)
  * Sleepiness or fewer alerts than usual
  * Increased irritability
  * High-pitched cry
  * Poor feeding
  * Projectile vomiting
  * Seizures
  * In older children:
  * Fever
  * Complaints of severe headaches
  * Nausea and vomiting
  * Changes in personality or behavior
  * Changes in speech
  * Problems walking
  * Increased movement in the arms or legs (spasticity)
  * Seizures


Diagnostic Exam
  * Blood tests
  * X-ray 
  * Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 
  * Computerized tomography scan (CT or CAT scan)
  * Urine and stool tests
  * Sputum culture 
  * Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
  * Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  * Intracranial...

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