Journal Article

Spinal Epidural Abscess Associated with the Use of Temporary Epidural Catheters: Report of Two Cases and Review

Felix A. Sarubbi and José E. Vasquez

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 25, issue 5, pages 1155-1158
Published in print November 1997 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 1997 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/516100
Spinal Epidural Abscess Associated with the Use of Temporary Epidural Catheters: Report of Two Cases and Review

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Spinal epidural abscess has rarely been associated with the use of epidural catheters. We describe two patients with epidural abscesses that occurred in relation to the use of temporary epidural catheters; a literature review yielded 20 additional well-described cases. The mean age of these 22 patients was 49.9 years, the median duration of epidural catheter use was 3 days, and the median time to onset of clinical symptoms after catheter placement was 5 days. The majority of patients (63.6%) had major neurological deficits, and 22.7% also had concomitant meningitis. Staphylococcus aureus was the predominant pathogen. Despite antibiotic therapy and drainage procedures, 38% of the patients continued to have neurological deficits. These unusual but serious complications of temporary epidural catheter use require efficient and accurate diagnostic evaluation, as they can be substantial.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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