Multiple brain abscesses with good prognosis in an infant with cyanotic congenital heart disease: A case report

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Abstract

Background: Brain abscesses are relatively rare, but they are a potentially life-threatening condition. Predictive factors for poor outcome are a young age and the presence of multiple abscesses. We report a case of a 15-month-old girl with cyanotic congenital heart disease who developed multiple brain abscesses caused by Streptococcus intermedius. The patient was treated with a combination of surgical aspiration and antimicrobial therapy without apparent neurological sequelae. To the best of our knowledge, this is the youngest such patient to have been reported in the literature. We explore the possible causes of her good outcome. Case presentation: At the age of 15 months, the Japanese patient initially was presented to our hospital with transient eye deviation to the left and vomiting. In a blood examination, her white blood cell count (12,720 per mm3 with a left shift) and C-reactive protein level (1.23 mg/ml) were slightly elevated. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed three mass lesions. These were 1.5-cm, 1.9-cm, and 1.2-cm rim-enhancing lesions with extensive surrounding edema. Brain abscesses were diagnosed, and vancomycin (50 mg every 12 hours) and meropenem (40 mg every 8 hours) were started empirically. However, because each brain abscess was enlarged at 8 days after admission, surgical aspiration was performed at 10 days after admission, and cultures of the aspirated pus grew S. intermedius. Penicillin G (0.7 million units every 4 hours) and ceftriaxone (280 mg every 12 hours), to which this isolate is susceptible, were then administered, and the brain abscesses reduced in size. After 1 month of ceftriaxone and 3 months of penicillin G treatment, all of the brain abscesses disappeared. Apparent neurological sequelae were not observed at 6 months after onset. Conclusions: A good outcome can be obtained if multiple brain abscesses develop in infancy or early childhood in cases without unconsciousness at admission, meningitis, or sepsis. Appropriate antimicrobial therapy should be started immediately after diagnosis, with surgical aspiration performed to identify the causative pathogen and avoid intraventricular rupture of the brain abscesses.

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Kudo-Kubo, A., Shimakawa, S., Odanaka, Y., Ikeda, N., Kitahara, H., Toshikawa, H., … Ashida, A. (2020). Multiple brain abscesses with good prognosis in an infant with cyanotic congenital heart disease: A case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13256-020-02436-3

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