Brain Abscesses in Children: A Study of Microbiological Spectrum and Outcome of 80 Cases
Objective: Brain abscess is a focus of pus in the brain due to infection somewhere else in the body. It is common in males than females and the average age in children ranges from 4 to 7 years. It develops by skull trauma or contiguous or hematogenous spread of infection. The study aimed to identify the pattern of microbiological involvement in the etiology of pediatric brain abscesses and the outcome so as to enable us to ensure definitive treatment with the appropriate and specific antimicrobial regimen.
Materials and Methods: A prospective study was conducted in 80 pediatric patients of brain abscess admitted to the Pediatric Neurosurgery Department, Children Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan.
Results: The median age was 5.2 years with a predominance of males (60%). The most common presentation was fever (72.5%) and then fits (35%). Congenital heart disease was the commonest factor in 32% of cases. Streptococcus was a commonly isolated pathogen in 17% cases out of 70% of culture positive cases. Recovery was seen in 70% of cases and the mortality was 7.5%.
Conclusion: Congenital heart disease is the most common causative factor in pediatric brain abscesses and most of the abscesses were found culture negative. There is a pressing need to carry out multicenter studies over a large sample size over extended study duration in developing countries to help establish guidelines in treating pediatric brain abscesses.
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