CONSORT: May stereotactic intracavity administration of antibiotics shorten the course of systemic antibiotic therapy for brain abscesses?

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Despite advances in surgical techniques in the management of the brain abscess, continuous systemic long-term antibiotics are necessary and crucial. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of intracavity administration of high-dose antibiotics on the course of antibiotic therapy.


Between 2003 and 2013, 55 patients with bacterial brain abscesses (83 abscesses) were treated with stereotactic aspiration and intracavity injection of high-dose antibiotics combined with a short course systemic antibiotic therapy. Antibiotics of one-eighth daily systemic dosage were injected into the abscess cavity after stereotactic aspiration and intravenous antibiotics were given in all patients for 3 to 4 weeks. The results of the group treated with stereotactic aspiration and intracavity injection of antibiotic solution were compared to the results of our previous patients treated by stereotactic aspiration only.


Thirty-nine males and 16 females (age ranging from 1.5 to 76 years; mean age 38.7 years) were included in this study. During the follow-up (mean 26.2 months, ranging from 6 to 72 months), all the abscesses subsided with no recurrence. No adverse effects related to topical use of antibiotics occurred. At the end of follow-up, 38 patients had good outcomes, 11 had mild neurological deficits, 3 had moderate deficits, 1 was in vegetative state, and 2 died of accidents not related to brain abscesses. Compared with conventional stereotactic aspiration and drainage, intracavity injection of antibiotics shorted the course of consecutive systemic intravenous antibiotics by average 10.8 days without an increase of the recurrence rate of abscesses.


Our results indicate that topical application of antibiotics into the brain abscess cavity helps to reduce the length of systemic antibiotic therapy, decreases the abscess recurrence rate, avoids the side effects of long-term high dose antibiotics, shortens the hospitalization and reduces treatment costs.

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