Management of brain abscess

Nicoline Schiess, Avindra Nath

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite recent advances in neuroimaging techniques, brain abscesses can be difficult to diagnose and may often require surgical intervention. The primary sources of infection are often difficult to locate; hence, even if an abscess is suspected, the organisms may remain unknown. In other patients, the location of the lesion may be in a site of the brain where surgical intervention may not be possible. The types of brain abscesses, their pathophysiology including predisposing conditions, and their characteristic radiologic features are discussed in this review, with particular emphasis on the indications and modes of medical management of brain abscesses. It discusses the use of antimicrobial agents that have the best central nervous system penetration and outlines a strategy for treatment of organisms likely to infect the brain with the different types of predisposing conditions. Also discussed are the indications for empirical therapy, and antimicrobial regimens for this purpose are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-166
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Abscess
  • Antibiotics
  • Brain
  • Diffusion-weighted images
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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