Isolated intracranial infection with Mycobacterium avium complex

R. D. Dickerman, Q. E.J. Stevens, R. Rak, S. E. Dorman, S. M. Holland, T. T. Nguyen, I. Papo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Mycobacterium avium-M. complex (MAC) has been linked to devastating respiratory and systemic illnesses in patients, especially in those who are immunosuppressed. The purpose of this study is to describe a case of isolated central nervous system (CNS) infection with MAC. This is a single case report of a patient with isolated intracranial mycobacterial infection. Setting: the patient was treated and the immunohistochemical investigations were undertaken at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Intervention: the patient initially was treated with a cocktail of antimycobacterial medications. However, because his disease was refractory, he underwent a suboccipital craniotomy and evacuation of his cerebellar mass. The patient was determined to have a low production of interferon-γ (INF-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) when compared to normal values. Despite extensive radiographic imaging studies and biopsies, there was no evidence of another focus of MAC infection in this patient. We conclude that intracranial infectious lesions in patients such as ours should be treated with conventional systemic antibiotic regimens as the first-line of therapy. We suggest neurosurgical intervention in medically refractory cases of intracranial infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain diseases, surgery
  • Brain diseases, therapy
  • Mycobacterium avium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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