Three groups of patients with single hemispheric brain abscesses or subdural empyemas, from 1 to 5 cm large, with similar initial prognosis, have been treated either by medical treatment alone (20), aspiration (21), or excision (15). Differences in survival were not found, but medical treatment alone was better for long term sequelae. Surgical procedures (either aspiration or excision) were better for both isolation of the organism and the hospital stay before discharge. In spite of good results, it is unwise to conclude too strongly in favour of no surgical treatment as this study was not randomised.
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