Infectious agents in spinal epidural abscesses

David M. Kaufman, Jerry G. Kaplan, Harlley E. Litman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

167 Scopus citations


Of 27 cases of spinal epidural abscess, 19 were caused by bacteria, 7 by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and 1 by Echinococcus granulosus. Blunt trauma and cutaneous infections were the most frequent preceding events in bacterial cases. Tuberculous abscess was usually the sole manifestation of reactivation of dormant tuberculosis. Drug addiction, the most common cause in young adults, was associated with gram-negative infections. Whatever the infectious agent, paraparesis for longer than 4 days led to a poor outcome. Myelography was the best diagnostic test, whereas lumbar puncture and percutaneous bone biopsy offered little specific information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-850
Number of pages7
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Kaufman, D. M., Kaplan, J. G., & Litman, H. E. (1980). Infectious agents in spinal epidural abscesses. Neurology, 30(8), 844-850.