Brain abscess caused by chronic invasive actinomycosis in the nasopharynx: A case report and literature review

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Abstract

Rationale:

Actinomycosis is a rare anaerobic, gram-positive bacterial infection caused by Actinomyces, which is part of the normal flora in the oral cavity and respiratory and female genitourinary tracts. The cervicofacial area is the most common site of involvement, and involvement of the central nervous system is rare.

Patient concerns:

We report a case involving a 51-year-old woman who developed an actinomycotic brain abscess 15 months after the treatment of noninvasive nasopharyngeal actinomycosis, which recurred as an invasive form.

Diagnoses:

Histopathological examination of the surgical specimens revealed actinomycosis.

Interventions:

The patient was treated by surgical drainage of the brain abscess and long-term antibiotic treatment.

Outcomes:

Follow-up brain imaging performed 12 months after surgery showed complete resolution of the brain abscess, and there were no further signs or symptoms of infection.

Lessons:

Physicians should be aware of the typical clinical presentations of cervicofacial actinomycosis. Moreover, they should know that actinomycosis may mimic the process of malignancy at various anatomical locations.

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