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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1998 Aug;65(2):209-12.

Spinal epidural abscess: the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

Author information

1
The Infection Unit, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To remind clinicians of the dangers of delayed diagnosis and the importance of early treatment of spinal epidural abscess.

METHODS:

A review of the literature on spinal epidural abscess and a comparison of the published literature with local experience.

RESULTS:

Imaging with MRI or CT enables early diagnosis of spinal epidural abcess and optimal therapy is surgical evacuation combined with 6-12 weeks (median 8 weeks) of antimicrobial chemotherapy. Clinical features are fever, pain, and focal neurological signs and may be associated with preceding and pre-existing bone or joint disease. The commonest aetiological organism is S aureus.

CONCLUSION:

Early diagnosis and appropriate early antimicrobial chemotherapy with surgery is associated with an excellent prognosis.

PMID:
9703173
PMCID:
PMC2170211
DOI:
10.1136/jnnp.65.2.209
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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