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Intracranial Empyema: Literature Review and Two Novel Cases in Cats

Barrs V.R., Nicoll R.G., Churcher R.K., et al.

J Small Anim Pract, 2007. 48(8): p.449-54.

OBJECTIVES: To review the literature on intracranial empyema and report two new cases in cats. METHODS: Literature review and case reports. RESULTS: Intracranial empyema has been rarely reported in small animals. In two novel cases in cats, the route of infection was postulated to be local extension from a retrobulbar abscess of odontogenic origin in one case and direct inoculation from a penetrating bite wound to the skull, confirmed at post-mortem examination, in the other. On magnetic resonance imaging of the first case, there was a contrast-enhancing large extra-axial fluid collection overlying the right cerebral hemisphere, consistent with subdural empyema. Infection was caused by an Actinomyces spp. This is the first report of successful treatment of intracranial empyema by craniotomy, drainage and antibiotics. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Intracranial empyema is a neurosurgical emergency. Favourable outcomes may be achieved with surgical decompression, antimicrobial therapy and intensive care.