Late onset of spinal epidural abscess after spinal epidural catheterization

Noriko Hagiwara, Jun Hata, Hitonori Takaba, Yoshisuke Saku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A 76-year-old diabetic woman received epidural catheterization for sigmoid colectomy. Four months later she started to complain of fever and severe lumbago, and finally fell into coma and tetraplegia. She had severe neck stiffness, and lumbar puncture yielded yellowish pus. Methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was detected in a culture of the epidural pus and blood as a causative organism. Magnetic resonance imaging showed extensive abscess in the posterior epidural space at the level between Th1 and L5. We diagnosed her disease as iatrogenic spinal epidural abscess due to epidural catheterization. After emergent laminectomy and evacuation of abscess, inflammation was gradually improved. She returned to normal except for slight gait disturbance. Spinal epidural abscess often develops rapidly after Staphylococus aureus infection. In our case, however, neurological deficits appeared 144 days after insertion of epidural catheter. We must remember that spinal epidural abscess is an important cause of lumbago with high fever, even several months after surgical or catheterial intervention to the spine, for immunocompromised patients with diabetes or neoplasm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-636
Number of pages4
JournalBrain and Nerve
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)


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