Sat, Jan 22, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Doctor treats rare brain abscess case

Staff writer, with CNA

A pediatrician reported a very rare brain abscess case yesterday and said that common cold symptoms could be the beginning of something more serious for children with allergies, after operating on a teenager admitted for continuous fever and headache.

The 14-year-old male patient, who suffers from minor allergy problems, had been complaining of a cough and runny nose for more than a week before seeking medical attention, said Lin Chien-hung (林建宏), a pediatrician at Taipei City Hospital.

Lin discovered that the patient’s eyelids were swollen and arranged for a computed tomography scan, which confirmed that the teenager was suffering from acute sinusitis — a condition that in rare cases can lead to eye socket inflammation and in even rarer cases a brain abscess — the accumulation of pus inside the brain cavity.

“This is a rare case, because sinusitis is usually resolved within the first few days of infection using antibiotics,” he said.

In this case, however, brain drainage surgery had to be performed, without which, serious complications such as loss of sight or even death could have occurred, the doctor said.

Allergy-prone children often contract sinusitis and complications can sometimes be more dangerous because of the proximity of the sinuses to the brain, Lin said.

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