Pyogenic brain abscess in children: a Tunisian multi-center experience
Background: Brain abscess (BA) is an uncommon intracranial suppurative infectious disease, especially in children. Treatment involves surgery and prolonged courses of antibiotics.
Objectives: Our study aimed to describe clinical characteristics of children with BA treated in middle Tunisian health centers.
Methods: A retrospective study lasting 19 years (1995-2014) was conducted in Tunisia middle region. Forty one children having radiologic abnormalities suggestive of BA and confirmed per operative lesions were included. Mycobacterial, parasitic or fungal abscesses were excluded. Medical records were analyzed for age, gender, presenting symptoms, predisposing factors, imaging, microbiology results, treatment and outcome.
Results: The mean age was 4.9 years. The most common clinical presentations were intracranial hypertension symptoms (87%). BA was diagnosed in 95.1% on the basis of cranial imaging. The majority of abscesses was supra-tentorial (92.6%). The most frequent etiology was loco-regional infections (63.4%). No predisposing factor was found in 17%. Intravenous antibiotics were given in all cases with surgical drainage in 63.4%,. Causative organisms were identified in 53.7%. The mortality rate was 24.3%. Age less than 2 years was the only statistically significant prognostic factor identified.
Conclusion: Our study confirmed the severity of this pathology and underlined the importance of early diagnosis and management.
Keywords: Pyogenic brain abscess, children, Tunisia.