Intraparenchymal brain abscesses are rare but serious brain infections with very high morbidity and mortality. One-half of these abscesses originate from otogenic and rhinogenic sources. The purpose of this paper is to review all relevant studies on cerebral abscesses from otogenic and rhinogenic sources, identify possible patterns in pathogen frequency, and streamline antimicrobial therapy based on this information. Extensive meshterm searches on Medline were performed. Data was compiled and analyzed. Proteus spps. were commonly associated with otogenic abscesses; S. milleri was commonly associated with rhinogenic abscesses. Limitations to the study exist. Future research should include investigation of virulence factors contributing to these common intraparyncymal pathogens as well as obtaining culture results from both the ear or sinus as well as the intraparenchymal abscess for further correlation.
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