The experiences of non-operative treatment in patients with bacterial brain abscess

S. Y. Hsiao, W. N. Chang, W. C. Lin, N. W. Tsai, C. R. Huang, H. C. Wang, C. M. Su, M. J. Chuang, C. H. Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

12 Scopus citations


Although treatment of brain abscess requires a combination of antimicrobials and surgical intervention for the infected foci, nonsurgical, empirical treatment is possible and efficient in selected groups of patients. A total of 31 patients were enrolled in this 22-year retrospective study. We describe our therapeutic experiences and attempt to analyze the risk factors that were predictive of therapeutic outcomes. Multiple logistic regression was used to evaluate the relationships between baseline clinical factors and therapeutic outcome during the study period. Of these 31 patients, 25 had community-acquired infections, whereas the other six had nosocomially-acquired infections. Thirteen cases (42%) had a single brain abscess and the other 18 cases (58%) had multiple brain abscesses. Furthermore, the association of bacterial meningitis and brain abscess was found in 81% (25/31) of cases. The overall case fatality rate was 48% (15/31). Significant risk factors for poor outcomes included Glasgow coma scale (GCS) at presentation, presence of septic shock and neck stiffness. In addition, each reduction of one point on the GCS increased the poor outcome rate by 28%. The findings of the study demonstrate that both a higher mortality rate (48%) and worse outcomes were found in this select group of patients. Among the significant prognostic factors, a lower mean GCS at presentation was a major determinant of poor outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-620
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number4
StatePublished - 04 2011


  • Bacterial brain abscess
  • Glasgow coma scale
  • Nonsurgical treatment
  • Outcome


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