Link of Video Abstract: https://youtu.be/ep7OSDbigho
Background: Intracranial subdural empyema, although rare, represents an extreme medical and neurosurgical emergency. Multiple burr holes or a craniotomy for drainage and antibiotics are the treatment of choice. This case study aims to evaluate the complete recovery of interhemispheric subdural empyema extending to cerebellar tentorium treated with antibiotics as unimodal therapy.
Case Presentation: We present a case of a 40-year-old male with severe headache, a decrease of consciousness GCS E3V1M5, generalized onset tonic-clonic seizure, right abducens palsy, and right hemiparesis. Interhemispheric subdural empyema extending to cerebellar tentorium with associated intracranial abscess was seen from brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Antibiotics were administered without surgical intervention due to the patient's family rejection. The patient regained full consciousness within 1 week and complete neurological function after 4 weeks of continuous use of antibiotics. The patient was discharged, and his recovery was uneventful on subsequent follow-up.
Conclusion: The use of antibiotics as monotherapy in subdural empyema is controversial, as it is widely accepted that surgery must be initiated as soon as possible in this pathology. It is indicated in small portions of cases without major neurological deficits or in particular conditions where surgery could not be performed. Still, more recent studies found it justifiable in patients with documented initial good responses. This case report highlights the complete recovery and the clinical outcome of antibiotics as monotherapy for subdural empyema.