It is well known to surgeons that the deeper an abscess lies the more technically difficult is its successful drainage. This applies especially to abscess of the brain.
At a meeting of the American Medical Association on May 13, 1936, I presented a method1 by which a deep-seated encapsulated abscess may be forced to migrate to or above the surface of the cranial vault by utilization of the increased intracranial pressure. The method consists, briefly, in palpation of the wall of the abscess through a trephine opening, a dull cannula being used. A decompression is made over what is thought to be the most superficial surface of the abscess, and the abscess is excised or drained on its appearance at the surface several days later.
Since this communication my colleagues and I have had occasion to visualize directly a deep-seated abscess of the temporal lobe by means of a
Kahn EA. TREATMENT OF ENCAPSULATED ABSCESS OF THE BRAIN: Visualization by Colloidal Thorium Dioxide. Arch NeurPsych. 1939;41(1):158–165. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1939.02270130168010
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