New perspectives in the endoscopic treatment of brain purulent collections: targets, techniques, results in a case series, and overview of the literature.Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2020 May 02 [Online ahead of print]AN
Purulent intracranial infections are threatening conditions. Different surgical approaches have been described, respecting the rationale of evacuating the fluid component of the purulent collection. Emerging evidence supports the use of the endoscope for the treatment of cerebral abscesses and subdural empyemas; especially the peculiarities of flexible endoscopes could potentially offer a more effective and conclusive management as compared with the drainage through catheters. We describe our experience in the treatment of intracranial purulent collections with flexible endoscopy, comparing it with the most recent literature.
Ten patients affected by intracranial suppuration were treated with endoscopy at our institution. The neurosurgical technique is thoroughly described. The related literature is reviewed, providing a comprehensive overview on the endoscopic treatment of intracranial suppuration so far.
All the patients had a good clinical outcome, with no peri-operative complications. The postoperative scans showed significant radiological improvement, with important reduction of the pus volume. In all cases, the microbiological cultures showed positivity.
In our experience, the use of the flexible scope proved feasible and effective in the treatment of intracranial purulent collections. Visual awareness of the internal capsule is not limited to a direct inspection of the fluid pus; it rather allows an active removal of the more solid (and perhaps more microbiologically significant) fibrinoid component, and also assists in final bleeding control and in assessing the extent of the evacuation. The steering capabilities of the fiberscope are particularly suitable for such purposes, allowing sampling the solid internal layer of the pyogenic membrane, and potentially shedding light on the actual clinical significance of this component of the abscess.