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An abscess is a collection of pus in an enclosed area of the body. Within the brain, abscesses occur as the result of a bacterial or fungal infection.
A brain abscess is a serious, life-threatening condition. Ruptured abscesses have a high mortality rate.
The goals of treatment for brain abscesses are to reduce intracranial pressure and eliminate the infection.
At UPMC, neurosurgeons will remove or drain the abscess to relieve the pressure. After treatment, you will need to take a course of antibiotics.
Doctors can identify brain abscesses using imaging studies, such as MRI or CT scans.
Your doctor will also ask you about your symptoms.
Symptoms may include:
Sudden onset of a worsening headache, along with rigidity of the neck muscles and intolerance of bright light, could be signs that the abscess has ruptured.
Treatment for a brain abscess includes both:
The surgical approach will vary depending on the location of the abscess.
Our neurosurgical team will evaluate you and find the path that is the least disruptive to your brain, critical nerves, and ability to return to normal functioning.
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