Brain abscess epidemiology and demographics

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Farwa Haideri [2]

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There has been a remarkable shift in the epidemiology of brain abscess over the past several years. Due to advanced treatments of the ear, sinus, and orofacial infections within the last half century, brain abscess occurrences are now rare, only present in about 1,500 to 2,500 infections each year in the United States.[1]

Epidemiology and Demographics


  • The prevalence of brain abscess accounts for approximately 1 in 10,000 hospital admissions.[2]
  • After penetrating trauma or neurosurgical procedures, the prevalence ranges from 2-14%.[1]


  • Brain abscess can arise due to paranasal infections in patients ages 10 to 30.
  • It is uncommon in children, yet has a peak incidence seen in ages 4 to 7.[3]


  • Brain abscess occurrence is more common in males than in females.[3]

Developed Countries

  • More cases are being seen in immunocompromised patients, especially in the United States.
  • There has been an advancement of treatment, making brain abscess occurrence more rare.[1]

Underdeveloped Countries


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Honda H, Warren DK (2009). "Central nervous system infections: meningitis and brain abscess". Infect. Dis. Clin. North Am. 23 (3): 609–23. doi:10.1016/j.idc.2009.04.009. PMID 19665086.
  2. Brain Abscess. MedMerits (2011). Accessed on October 7, 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Sinusitis. Cleveland Clinic (2000-2015). Accessed on October 19th, 2015

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