Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Emergency Medical Minute


Jun 25, 2018

Author: Sue Chilton, MD

Educational Pearls:


  • IV drug use and spinal procedures are major risk factors.
  • Classic triad of back pain, focal neurological deficit and fever. However, presence of fever is highly variable. Neurologic deficits may not present until later, but then they can have a rapid progression of neurological decline.
  • MRSA is most common organism, but GNR and MSSA are also possible.



Chen WC, Wang JL, Wang JT, et al. (2008). Spinal epidural abscess due to Staphylococcus aureus: clinical manifestations and outcomes. Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection. 41:215.

Danner RL, Hartman BJ. (1987).Update on spinal epidural abscess: 35 cases and review of the literature. Review of Infectious Disease. 9:265.

Pfister H-W, Klein M, Tunkel AR, Scheld WM. Epidural abscess. In: Infections of the Central Nervous System, Fourth Edition, Scheld WM, Whitley RJ, Marra CM (Eds), Wolters Kluwer Health, Philadelphia 2014. p.550.