Nocardia farcinica cerebral abscess: A systematic review of treatment strategies - Aix-Marseille Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Neurochirurgie Year : 2022

Nocardia farcinica cerebral abscess: A systematic review of treatment strategies


Purpose Nocardia farcinica is an opportunistic pathogen causing mainly pneumonia in immunocompromised patients, complicated in almost one-third of the cases by a thick-walled multiloculated cerebral abscess which induces significant morbidity and mortality. This review aims to assess the optimal treatment strategy for N. farcinica cerebral abscess. Methods Report of a case. Medline database was used to conduct a systematic review from inception to January 2020 looking for English-language articles focused on N. farcinica cerebral abscess, in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. Results The research yielded 54 articles for a total of 58 patients. N. farcinica cerebral abscess displayed three different neuroimaging patterns: a single multiloculated abscess in half of the cases, multiple cerebral abscesses, or a small paraventricular abscess with meningitis. The patients who benefited from surgical excision of the abscess showed a trend towards a lower risk of surgical revision (8% versus 31%, P = 0.06) and a lower mortality rate (8% versus 23%, P = 0.18) than patients who benefited from needle aspiration. Twenty-two percent of the patients benefited from microbiological documentation from another site with a mortality rate of 23%. Conclusion Urgent multimodal MRI is necessary in face with clinical suspicion of cerebral nocardiosis. In case of single or multiple small cerebral abscesses, microbiological documentation can be obtained with puncture of pseudotumoral visceral lesions. In case of large or symptomatic cerebral abscess, an aggressive surgical excision seems a reliable option and can be preferred over needle aspiration. Long-term antibiotic therapy with cotrimoxazole is necessary thereafter.
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hal-03663623 , version 1 (05-04-2023)



N. Beucler, K. Farah, A. Choucha, M. Meyer, S. Fuentes, et al.. Nocardia farcinica cerebral abscess: A systematic review of treatment strategies. Neurochirurgie, 2022, 68 (1), pp.94-101. ⟨10.1016/j.neuchi.2021.04.022⟩. ⟨hal-03663623⟩
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