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Multiple brain abscesses caused by Salmonella typhi: case report.

Surgical Neurology 2000 January
BACKGROUND: Focal intracranial infections caused by Salmonella species are uncommon. The authors report a case of multiple brain abscesses caused by Salmonella typhi.

CASE DESCRIPTION: A 2-month-old girl was admitted to the hospital because of diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and poor feeding. Neurological examination revealed cervical hyperextension and absence of sucking and Moro reflexes. During the next 20 hours she developed complex partial seizures with secondary generalization and alternated irritability with drowsiness. Investigation showed hemoglobin 6.3 g/dl; white blood cell count of 19500/mm3 with a marked shift to the left. The analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid revealed white cell count of 1695/mm3, lymphocytes 61%, protein 300 mg/dl and glucose 6 mg/dl. The patient was treated for acute gastroenterocolitis, sepsis, and meningitis. Blood culture taken on the day of admission showed gram-negative bacilli, later identified as S. typhi. Computed tomography scan demonstrated a lesion in the right parietal lobe compatible with a brain abscess. Follow-up computed tomography after 7 days showed several other lesions with the same features. Surgical drainage of the right parietal lesion was performed on the 13th day, through a burr hole. The patient was discharged 5 weeks after admission without neurological deficit.

CONCLUSION: Bacteremia, sepsis, and meningitis are relatively common in children with Salmonella infection but intracranial abscesses are very rare. Surgical drainage combined with prolonged antibiotic therapy (drug of choice: chloramphenicol) is the best treatment for Salmonella brain abscesses. The possibility of intracranial infection should be considered in patients with Salmonellosis and neurological dysfunction.

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