Brain Abscess

Brain abscess or cerebral abscess is the accumulation of pus due to infection in the brain. This condition can cause swelling of the brain. Brain abscesses often occur due to bacterial or fungal infections in the brain due to head injuries or infections of other body tissues that spread to the brain.

Brain abscesses are often characterized by severe headaches, fever, seizures, and even impaired consciousness. This condition is very dangerous and requires immediate and careful treatment.

Brain abscess

The main cause of brain abscess is a bacterial infection or stick to the brain tissue. These bacterial or toadic infections may come from direct infections in the brain, head injuries, including surgical procedures on the brain, and transmission of the infection to other organs through the blood.

The most common types of bacteria that cause pus to form in the brain come from the Bacteriodes, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, or Enterobacter groups. Meanwhile, another type of pathogen that most often causes brain abscess is Aspergilus fungus or Toxoplasma gondii parasite.

There are several conditions that can increase the risk of brain abscess, namely:

  • Have a weakened immune system, for example because they have HIV / AIDS, cancer, or use immunosuppressant drugs
  • Have a middle ear infection (otitis media), ear bone infection (mastoiditis), sinusitis, dental abscess, or meningitis
  • Ever had a head injury, a skull fracture, or had undergone head surgery
  • Have a lung infection, endocarditis, an infection of the abdominal cavity, a pelvic infection, or a skin infection
  • Have congenital heart disease (CBC) or abnormalities in pulmonary blood vessels or pulmonary arteriovenous fistula

Symptoms of Brain Abscess

Symptoms of brain abscess can vary depending on the size and location of the abscess. Emerging symptoms can develop slowly or rapidly.

Here are some symptoms of brain abscess:

  • Persistent headache
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • The neck feels stiff
  • Disorders of nerve function, such as muscle weakness, paralysis, and blurred speech
  • Behavioral changes, such as anxiety or confusion
  • Vision problems, such as double vision, blurred, or blurred vision

When seeing a doctor

See a doctor right away if you experience any of the above symptoms, especially if you have a headache due to fever, thrush, and impaired nerve function. Brain abscesses must be treated promptly and accurately to avoid life-threatening complications.

If you have a disease that can increase your risk of developing a brain abscess, such as sinusitis, meningitis, otititis media, and heart infection, follow the doctor's prescription to resolve it.

Diagnosis of Brain Abscess

To diagnose a brain abscess, the doctor will ask questions about the patient's complaints, symptoms, and history of medications and medications. Then, the doctor will perform a thorough physical examination, including a neurological (neurological) examination.

The doctor will also take precautions to confirm the diagnosis and determine the cause of the brain abscess. Several support checks will be performed, such as:

  • Blood test, to check for signs of rupture of blood cells and their level
  • Implications, such as X-rays, CT-induced, or MRI, to determine the location and size of brain abscesses
  • Lumbar puncture, to identify pathogens, including the type of bacteria that cause brain abscesses
  • Biopsy, to identify changes in cells and tissues in the brain, and to identify pathogens that cause brain abscesses
  • Examination of blood culture, to find bacteria or feces that cause brain abscess
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG), to determine electrical activity in the brain, especially in patients with recurrent brain abscesses

If the brain abscess has spread from infection to other parts of the body, such as the respiratory tract, then sputum culture tests can be performed to determine the type of bacteria or germs that have infected the lungs.

Brain Abscess Treatment

Brain abscess is a condition that needs to be treated as soon as possible. Treatment for brain abscess will depend on the size, number, and type of bacteria or pathogenic bacteria that cause the abscess in the brain.

In addition, treatment of brain abscesses is also done to eliminate complaints and symptoms as well as prevent complications. Some treatment options that your doctor will use to treat brain abscess are:


Medication is given to treat infections that cause brain abscesses and reduce the complaints and symptoms experienced by patients. Some types of medicine that will be given by the doctor are:

  • Antibiotics or antifungal drugs, to treat infections that cause brain abscess, including to treat brain abscesses caused by toxoplasmosis
  • Diuretics and steroids, to reduce stress and intracranial swelling in the brain
  • Anti-seizure medication, to treat seizures that may occur in the brain abscess


Surgery will be performed if the abscess is larger than 2 cm or if the abscess is at risk of rupture and damage to the surrounding brain tissue. The operation is performed by removing the abscess.

There are 2 types of surgery that can be done to treat brain abscess, namely:

  • Simple aspiration

Simple aspiration is done to remove the accumulated pus. This procedure is usually performed with the help of CT induction (stereotactic aspiration) to confirm the abscess point.

  • Craniotomy

A craniotomy procedure is performed to remove an abscess from brain tissue. In this procedure, the doctor will remove a small part of the skull bone (flap) so that it can access the infected brain tissue. Followed by the process of abscess removal.
After surgery, the patient will be hospitalized for some time until his condition can be monitored continuously.

Complications of Brain Abscess

Brain abscesses can potentially cause a number of complications, including:

  • The abscess has recurred
  • Damage to brain tissue
  • Epilepsy
  • Meningitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Mastoiditis or bone infection in the back of the ear

Prevention of Brain Abscesses

The way to prevent brain abscess is to avoid conditions that can cause brain abscess. Some ways that can be done are:

  • Carry out screening and treatment to completion if you have an infectious disease
  • Maintain the health and hygiene of teeth and mouth, including regularly seeing a dentist
  • Use safety equipment, such as helmets or head protectors, when working in an environment where there is a risk of head injury
  • Live a healthy lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly
  • Do not take medication arbitrarily

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