Intracerebral abscess with dissecting pneumocephalus caused by a gas-producing gram-positive rod following craniotomy for glioblastoma multiforme resection

Christopher A. Sarkiss, Teo Soleymani, Justin M. Caplan, Michael J. Dorsi, Judy Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), an indolent and slow-growing anaerobic gram-positive bacterium, has largely been known as a commensal organism of the normal skin flora. However, P. acnes is increasingly being recognized as the causative infectious organism complicating craniotomies and shunt insertions. To our knowledge, we present the first reported patient with an intracerebral abscess with dissecting pneumocephalus caused by P. acnes. A 58-year-old woman who was immunocompetent presented 3 weeks after a craniotomy for resection of a glioblastoma multiforme with worsening mental status, lethargy and left hemiparesis. Head CT scans and MRI demonstrated significant vasogenic edema and dissecting pneumocephalus in the resection cavity. A craniotomy was performed and purulent material was found in the subdural space and resection cavity. Cultures were positive for P. acnes. She completed a full course of intravenous antibiotics appropriate for the organism. The infection was eradicated and the patient survived albeit with persistent deficits. This case illustrates the importance of considering an underlying intracerebral abscess in patients with worsening neurological function and pneumocephalus on imaging several weeks after surgery. Our review of the literature underscores the great importance in early recognition and treatment with both surgical debridement and antibiotic therapy in achieving optimal patient recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1625-1627
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Volume20
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

Keywords

  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • Intracerebral abscess
  • Propionibacterium acnes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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