Intraventricular rupture of a purulent brain abscess: Case report

Seth M. Zeidman, Fred H. Geisler, Alessandro Olivi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


THE MORTALITY OF patients with brain abscesses has decreased significantly from 38% in the 1950s to 25% in the 1980s (P = 0.003, Fisher's exact test by decade of report; asymptotic P values based on χ2 distribution with 3 degrees of freedom, 28 series, 2825 total patients). This decrease in mortality has been attributed to improved diagnostic imaging, the evolution of neurosurgical techniques and understanding of intracranial pressure pathophysiology, greater critical care understanding, and newer antibiotics. However, the mortality associated with the intraventricular rupture of brain abscesses (IVROBA) remained consistently high (at or above 80% once IVROBA was identified) throughout these decades. Although 129 cases (84.5% mortality, 20 survivors) of IVROBA were located in these series and an additional six case reports of survival after IVROBA were found in the literature, treatment advice and detailed clinical description of these surviving cases are sparse or absent. A case of IVROBA with good quality of survival is presented along with the aggressive five-component therapeutic plan used. The five components are: 1) open craniotomy with debridement of abscess cavity, 2) lavage of the ventricular system, 3) 6 weeks of intravenous antibiotics, 4) intraventricular gentamicin twice daily for 6 weeks, and 5) intraventricular drainage for 6 weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-193
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995


  • Antibiotics
  • Brain abscess
  • Intracranial infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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