Send to

Choose Destination
World J Emerg Surg. 2009 Aug 6;4:31. doi: 10.1186/1749-7922-4-31.

Spinal Subdural Staphylococcus Aureus Abscess: case report and review of the literature.

Author information

Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Patras University Hospital, Patras, 26500, Greece.



Only 65 cases (including our case) of spinal subdural abscesses have been reported to the literature, mostly to the lumbar spine. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common bacterial. The symptoms are not caracteristic and contrast - enhanced magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI) is the imaging method of choice. The early diagnosis is crucial for the prognosis of the patient.


We present a patient 75 years old who had a history of diabetes and suffered acute low back pain in the region of the lumbar spine for the last 4 days before his admission to the hospital. He also experienced lower leg weakness, fever and neck stiffness. After having a brain CT scan and a lumbar puncture the patient hospitalized with the diagnosis of meningitis. Five days after his admission the diagnosis of subdural abscess secured with contrast - enhanced MRI but meanwhile the condition of the patient impaired with respiratory failure and quadriplegia and he was admitted to the ICU. A laminectomy was performed eight days after his admission into the hospital but unfortunately the patient died.


Early diagnosis and treatment are very important for the good outcome in patients with subdural abscess. Although morbidity and mortality are very high, surgical and antibiotic treatment should be established as soon as possible after the diagnosis has secured.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center