Resection of Multiple Nocardial Brain Abscesses: Diagnostic Role of Computerized Tomography

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We present a case of multiple brain lesions in which the preoperative computerized tomographic (CT) scan suggested the presence of brain abscesses rather than metastatic tumors. The patient presented with symptoms of left frontal and right cerebellar mass lesions, confirmed by carotid and vertebral arteriography and a radionuclide brain scan. A CT scan revealed multiple contiguous ring-enhancing lesions of various sizes at both sites. With the exception of a prior mild pulmonary infection, no findings suggested underlying malignancy, immunosuppression, or medical illness. We based our decision to administer antibiotics preoperatively on the presumed presence of abscesses. We found and totally removed two multiloculated abscesses during one operation and initiated sulfa drug therapy (sulfisoxazole) immediately after identification of the Nocardia organism. The patient experienced no postoperative complications and at 6-months follow-up is clinically free of disease.

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