A brain abscess is a focal pyogenic infection. When fully developed, it is composed of a central pus-filled cavity, ringed by a layer of granulation tissue and an outer fibrous capsule. Surrounding this is edematous brain tissue infiltrated with inflammatory cells. It is a pathologic response typical of a relatively competent immune system against a bacterial invader. Focal brain infections due to other organisms, such as granulomas due to tuberculosis, necrotic lesions of toxoplasmosis in immunocompromised patients, or cystic lesions of cysticercosis, are not abscesses in the pathologic sense. These nonpurulent focal lesions are not considered here.
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