martedì 8 febbraio 2011

Subdural empyema







Findings

A large left middle cranial fossa subdural empyema is demonstrated, with a relatively thin rim of enhancement. Internally, there is a large quantity of debris. There is mass effect, with a modest midline shift and effacement of the left lateral ventricle. Inflammatory changes are demonstrated in the left temporal bone which is likely the source of the abscess. There is diffusion restriction, not marked, consistent with abscess. There is extensive dural enhancement, along with considerable surrounding edema.

Differential diagnosis:
- Subdural empyema
- Chronic subdural hematoma
- Subdural effusion
- Subdural hygroma
- Dural metastasis


Diagnosis: Large left middle cranial fossa subdural empyema; left mastoiditis


Key points

Loculated collection of pus in subdural space
Best diagnostic clue: Extra-axial collection with contrast enhancing rim
Supratentorial typical
Infratentorial (up to 10%), often associated with mastoiditis
Crescentic typical; may be lens shaped on coronal images
CT demonstrates extra-axial collection, iso-to hyper dense to CSF on noncontrasted CT; shows strong peripheral enhancement with contrast
Best imaging tool: MR with DWI to demonstrate presence, nature, extent and complications
T1W image shows:
Extra-axial collection hyper intense to CSF
Crescentic extra-axial collection
T2WI demonstrates a lesion that is Iso-to hyper intense to CSF,
FLAIR shows a crescentic fluid collection which is hyper intense to CSF, underlying brain may be hyper intense
DWI shows restricted diffusion (increased signal intensity); Differentiates subdural empyema from subdural effusions
T1WI post contrast shows:
Prominent enhancement at margin related to granulomatous tissue and inflammation
Encapsulating membranes enhance strongly, may be loculated with internal fibrous strands
May see enhancement of adjacent brain parenchyma
MRV may show venous thrombosis seen as a lack of flow
CT may miss small collections
Complications include cerebritis and brain abscess, cortical vein and dural sinus thrombosis, and cerebral edema
Subdural empyema is much more common than epidural empyema
In older children, adults: Related to paranasal sinus disease (>2/3), in infants and young children it can be a complication of bacterial meningitis
Most common signs/symptoms include fever, headaches, meningismus, sinusitis, cerebritis
Sinus or ear infection in > 75% of cases
Confused with meningitis which may lead to delayed diagnosis
Can occur at any age
Rare, yet high mortality rate.
If subdural or epidural abscess is discovered, look also for sinusitis, otomastoiditis, dural sinus thrombosis and brain abscess
Progresses rapidly, neurosurgical emergency
Surgical drainage via wide craniotomy is gold standard

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