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Definition Return to top
A subdural effusion is a collection of pus beneath the outer lining of the brain.
Causes Return to top
A subdural effusion is a rare complication of bacterial meningitis. Subdural effusion is more common in infants and in persons who have meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae.
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
There is often a recent history of bacterial meningitis. Tests include:
Treatment Return to top
Surgery to drain the effusion is often necessary. Rarely, a permanent drainage device (shunt) is needed to drain fluid. Antibiotics may need to be given through a vein.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Full recovery from a subdural effusion is expected. If neurological problems continue, they are generally due to the meningitis, not the effusion. Long-term use of antibiotics is usually not necessary.
Possible Complications Return to top
Complications from surgery include:
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if:
References Return to top
Swartz MN. Meningitis: bacterial, viral, and other. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 437.Update Date: 10/30/2008 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.