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Abscess, Spinal Cord
Jeffrey S. Ross, MD
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Top Differential Diagnoses

        • Pathology

          • Clinical Issues

            • Diagnostic Checklist

              TERMINOLOGY

              • Abbreviations

                • Intramedullary spinal cord abscess (ISCA)
              • Definitions

                • Infection of spinal cord with necrosis
                  • Pyogenic infection most common

              IMAGING

              • General Features

                • CT Findings

                  • MR Findings

                    • Nonvascular Interventions

                      • Imaging Recommendations

                        DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                          PATHOLOGY

                          • General Features

                            CLINICAL ISSUES

                            • Presentation

                              • Demographics

                                • Natural History & Prognosis

                                  • Treatment

                                    DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                    • Consider

                                      • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                        Selected References

                                        1. Kanaheswari Y et al: Intramedullary spinal cord abscess: The result of a missed congenital dermal sinus. J Paediatr Child Health. ePub, 2014
                                        2. Al Barbarawi M et al: Management of intramedullary spinal cord abscess: experience with four cases, pathophysiology and outcomes. Eur Spine J. 18(5):710-7, 2009
                                        3. Ebner FH et al: Intramedullary lesions of the conus medullaris: differential diagnosis and surgical management. Neurosurg Rev. 32(3):287-300; discussion 300-1, 2009
                                        4. Gerlach R et al: Large intramedullary abscess of the spinal cord associated with an epidermoid cyst without dermal sinus. Case report. J Neurosurg Spine. 7(3):357-61, 2007
                                        5. Berger JR et al: Infectious myelopathies. Semin Neurol. 22(2): 133-42, 2002
                                        6. Chidambaram B et al: Intramedullary abscess of the spinal cord. Pediatr Neurosurg. 34(1): 43-4, 2001
                                        7. Durmaz R et al: Multiple nocardial abscesses of cerebrum, cerebellum and spinal cord, causing quadriplegia. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 103(1): 59-62, 2001
                                        8. Elmac I et al: Cervical spinal cord intramedullary abscess. Case report. J Neurosurg Sci. 45(4): 213-5; discussion 215, 2001
                                        9. Krishnan A et al: Craniovertebral junction tuberculosis: a review of 29 cases. J Comput Assist Tomogr. 25(2): 171-6, 2001
                                        10. Rossi FH et al: Listeria spinal cord abscess responsive to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole monotherapy. Can J Neurol Sci. 28(4): 354-6, 2001
                                        11. Ruiz A et al: MR imaging of infections of the cervical spine. Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am. 8(3): 561-80, 2000
                                        12. Desai KI et al: Holocord intramedullary abscess: an unusual case with review of literature. Spinal Cord. 37(12): 866-70, 1999
                                        13. Mukunda BN et al: Solitary spinal intramedullary abscess caused by Nocardia asteroides. South Med J. 92(12): 1223-4, 1999
                                        14. Chan CT et al: Intramedullary abscess of the spinal cord in the antibiotic era: clinical features, microbial etiologies, trends in pathogenesis, and outcomes. Clin Infect Dis. 27(3): 619-26, 1998
                                        15. Derkinderen P et al: Intramedullary spinal cord abscess associated with cervical spondylodiskitis and epidural abscess. Scand J Infect Dis. 30(6): 618-9, 1998
                                        16. Murphy KJ et al: Spinal cord infection: myelitis and abscess formation. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 19(2): 341-8, 1998
                                        17. Sverzut JM et al: Spinal cord abscess in a heroin addict: case report. Neuroradiology. 40(7): 455-8, 1998
                                        18. Friess HM et al: MR of staphylococcal myelitis of the cervical spinal cord. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 18(3): 455-8, 1997
                                        19. Banuelos AF et al: Central nervous system abscesses due to Coccidioides species. Clin Infect Dis. 22(2): 240-50, 1996
                                        20. Chu JY et al: Listeria spinal cord abscess--clinical and MRI findings. Can J Neurol Sci. 23(3): 220-3, 1996
                                        21. Martin RJ et al: Neurosurgical care of spinal epidural, subdural, and intramedullary abscesses and arachnoiditis. Orthop Clin North Am. 27(1): 125-36, 1996
                                        22. Bartels RH et al: Intramedullary spinal cord abscess. A case report. Spine. 20(10): 1199-204, 1995
                                        23. Lindner A et al: Magnetic resonance image findings of spinal intramedullary abscess caused by Candida albicans: case report. Neurosurgery. 36(2): 411-2, 1995
                                        24. Pfadenhauer K et al: Spinal manifestation of neurolisteriosis. J Neurol. 242(3): 153-6, 1995
                                        25. King SJ et al: MRI of an abscess of the cervical spinal cord in a case of Listeria meningoencephalomyelitis. Neuroradiology. 35(7): 495-6, 1993
                                        Related Anatomy
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                                        Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                        References
                                        Tables

                                        Tables

                                        KEY FACTS

                                        • Terminology

                                          • Imaging

                                            • Top Differential Diagnoses

                                              • Pathology

                                                • Clinical Issues

                                                  • Diagnostic Checklist

                                                    TERMINOLOGY

                                                    • Abbreviations

                                                      • Intramedullary spinal cord abscess (ISCA)
                                                    • Definitions

                                                      • Infection of spinal cord with necrosis
                                                        • Pyogenic infection most common

                                                    IMAGING

                                                    • General Features

                                                      • CT Findings

                                                        • MR Findings

                                                          • Nonvascular Interventions

                                                            • Imaging Recommendations

                                                              DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                                PATHOLOGY

                                                                • General Features

                                                                  CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                  • Presentation

                                                                    • Demographics

                                                                      • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                        • Treatment

                                                                          DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                          • Consider

                                                                            • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                                              Selected References

                                                                              1. Kanaheswari Y et al: Intramedullary spinal cord abscess: The result of a missed congenital dermal sinus. J Paediatr Child Health. ePub, 2014
                                                                              2. Al Barbarawi M et al: Management of intramedullary spinal cord abscess: experience with four cases, pathophysiology and outcomes. Eur Spine J. 18(5):710-7, 2009
                                                                              3. Ebner FH et al: Intramedullary lesions of the conus medullaris: differential diagnosis and surgical management. Neurosurg Rev. 32(3):287-300; discussion 300-1, 2009
                                                                              4. Gerlach R et al: Large intramedullary abscess of the spinal cord associated with an epidermoid cyst without dermal sinus. Case report. J Neurosurg Spine. 7(3):357-61, 2007
                                                                              5. Berger JR et al: Infectious myelopathies. Semin Neurol. 22(2): 133-42, 2002
                                                                              6. Chidambaram B et al: Intramedullary abscess of the spinal cord. Pediatr Neurosurg. 34(1): 43-4, 2001
                                                                              7. Durmaz R et al: Multiple nocardial abscesses of cerebrum, cerebellum and spinal cord, causing quadriplegia. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 103(1): 59-62, 2001
                                                                              8. Elmac I et al: Cervical spinal cord intramedullary abscess. Case report. J Neurosurg Sci. 45(4): 213-5; discussion 215, 2001
                                                                              9. Krishnan A et al: Craniovertebral junction tuberculosis: a review of 29 cases. J Comput Assist Tomogr. 25(2): 171-6, 2001
                                                                              10. Rossi FH et al: Listeria spinal cord abscess responsive to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole monotherapy. Can J Neurol Sci. 28(4): 354-6, 2001
                                                                              11. Ruiz A et al: MR imaging of infections of the cervical spine. Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am. 8(3): 561-80, 2000
                                                                              12. Desai KI et al: Holocord intramedullary abscess: an unusual case with review of literature. Spinal Cord. 37(12): 866-70, 1999
                                                                              13. Mukunda BN et al: Solitary spinal intramedullary abscess caused by Nocardia asteroides. South Med J. 92(12): 1223-4, 1999
                                                                              14. Chan CT et al: Intramedullary abscess of the spinal cord in the antibiotic era: clinical features, microbial etiologies, trends in pathogenesis, and outcomes. Clin Infect Dis. 27(3): 619-26, 1998
                                                                              15. Derkinderen P et al: Intramedullary spinal cord abscess associated with cervical spondylodiskitis and epidural abscess. Scand J Infect Dis. 30(6): 618-9, 1998
                                                                              16. Murphy KJ et al: Spinal cord infection: myelitis and abscess formation. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 19(2): 341-8, 1998
                                                                              17. Sverzut JM et al: Spinal cord abscess in a heroin addict: case report. Neuroradiology. 40(7): 455-8, 1998
                                                                              18. Friess HM et al: MR of staphylococcal myelitis of the cervical spinal cord. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 18(3): 455-8, 1997
                                                                              19. Banuelos AF et al: Central nervous system abscesses due to Coccidioides species. Clin Infect Dis. 22(2): 240-50, 1996
                                                                              20. Chu JY et al: Listeria spinal cord abscess--clinical and MRI findings. Can J Neurol Sci. 23(3): 220-3, 1996
                                                                              21. Martin RJ et al: Neurosurgical care of spinal epidural, subdural, and intramedullary abscesses and arachnoiditis. Orthop Clin North Am. 27(1): 125-36, 1996
                                                                              22. Bartels RH et al: Intramedullary spinal cord abscess. A case report. Spine. 20(10): 1199-204, 1995
                                                                              23. Lindner A et al: Magnetic resonance image findings of spinal intramedullary abscess caused by Candida albicans: case report. Neurosurgery. 36(2): 411-2, 1995
                                                                              24. Pfadenhauer K et al: Spinal manifestation of neurolisteriosis. J Neurol. 242(3): 153-6, 1995
                                                                              25. King SJ et al: MRI of an abscess of the cervical spinal cord in a case of Listeria meningoencephalomyelitis. Neuroradiology. 35(7): 495-6, 1993