Brain abscess and subdural empyema

Intracranial abscesses remain a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge despite the considerable advances that have taken place in recent decades in imaging techniques, neurosurgical practice, bacteriological isolation of causal organisms, and the introduction of more potent antibiotics.143,144 They frequently present as emergencies and, as with all forms of cerebral infection, delay in diagnosis and implementation of treatment, and inappropriate investigation, adversely affect the outcome.145

The incidence of brain abscess is 13 per 100 000 person-years and this has fallen in recent years. Brain abscesses account for approximately 1 in 10 000 admissions in the United States.144 Both brain abscesses and subdural empyemas are more common in young men.145,146

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