Brain Abscess

Testing for a brain abscess?

An initial assessment will be made on the basis of physical symptoms and recent medical history.

- Blood tests are also carried out to check for the presence of infection. A high level of white-blood cells in your blood indicates the presence of a serious infection.

If a brain abscess is suspected, the diagnosis can be confirmed using a CT or MRI scan. The high definition images produced by these scans are able to detect the presences of an abscess.

MRI of abscess
Image16. MRI scan of a brain with an abscess

CT-Guided Aspiration - If an abscess is found, neurologists (doctors who specialise in the treatment of the nervous system and brain) can use a CT scan to guide a needle to the site of the abscess, and remove a sample of pus for further testing. The sample of pus should be able to indicate what type of infectious agent is causing the abscess.

However, treatment with antibiotics will usually begin before this procedure is carried out with an assumption that it is a bacterial abscess. If the aspiration does reveal that the abscess is being cause by a fungal or viral infection rather than bacteria, then the treatment plan can be amended accordingly.


What is a brain abscess?
Signs & Symptoms
Viral abscess
Bacterial abscess
Prevention & Treatment
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