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Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2014 Nov;16(11):436. doi: 10.1007/s11908-014-0436-7.

Spinal epidural abscess.

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Department of Neurology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 740 S. Limestone St., Lexington, KY, 40536-0284, USA.


Spinal epidural abscess (SEA) remains a relatively infrequent diagnosis. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common organism identified, and the infectious source in SEA emanates from skin and soft tissue infections in about 20 % of instances. The thoracic spine is most often involved followed by the lumbar spine. The classic triad of fever, spinal pain, and neurological deficit is present in but a minority of patients. The appearance of neurological deficits with SEA has a significant impact on the prognosis; therefore, early diagnosis is imperative. Magnetic resonance imaging has permitted earlier diagnosis, although significant delays in diagnosis are common due to the nonspecific symptoms that frequently attend the disorder. Due to the rarity of this condition, there have been few randomized controlled trials to evaluate new treatment strategies, and most recommendations regarding treatment are based on case series studies often derived from the experiences at a single center.


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