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Subdural Abscess
Jeffrey S. Ross, MD; Kevin R. Moore, MD
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Top Differential Diagnoses

        • Pathology

          • Clinical Issues

            • Diagnostic Checklist

              TERMINOLOGY

              • Synonyms

                • Spinal subdural empyema
                • Spinal subdural abscess (SSA)
              • Definitions

                • Collection of pus in "potential" space between dura and arachnoid

              IMAGING

              • General Features

                • Radiographic Findings

                  • CT Findings

                    • MR Findings

                      • Nonvascular Interventions

                        • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                          • Imaging Recommendations

                            DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                              PATHOLOGY

                              • General Features

                                • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                  CLINICAL ISSUES

                                  • Presentation

                                    • Demographics

                                      • Natural History & Prognosis

                                        • Treatment

                                          DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                          • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                            Selected References

                                            1. Torres C et al: Imaging of spine infection. Semin Roentgenol. 52(1):17-26, 2017
                                            2. Ngwenya LB et al: Concomitant epidural and subdural spinal abscess: a case report. Spine J. 16(4):e275-82, 2016
                                            3. Kraeutler MJ et al: Spinal subdural abscess following epidural steroid injection. J Neurosurg Spine. 22(1):90-3, 2015
                                            4. Moritani T et al: Pyogenic and non-pyogenic spinal infections: emphasis on diffusion-weighted imaging for the detection of abscesses and pus collections. Br J Radiol. 87(1041):20140011, 2014
                                            5. Khalil JG et al: Thoracolumbosacral spinal subdural abscess: magnetic resonance imaging appearance and limited surgical management. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 38(13):E844-7, 2013
                                            6. Diehn FE: Imaging of spine infection. Radiol Clin North Am. 50(4):777-98, 2012
                                            7. Angsuwat M et al: Early detection of spinal sepsis. J Clin Neurosci. 17(1):59-63, 2010
                                            8. Darouiche RO: Spinal epidural abscess and subdural empyema. Handb Clin Neurol. 96C:91-9, 2010
                                            9. Velissaris D et al: Spinal subdural Staphylococcus aureus abscess: case report and review of the literature. World J Emerg Surg. 4:31, 2009
                                            10. Sorar M et al: Spinal subdural abscess: a rare cause of low back pain. J Clin Neurosci. 15(3):292-4, 2008
                                            11. Ko MW et al: Papilledema as a manifestation of a spinal subdural abscess. J Neurol Sci. 260(1-2):288-92, 2007
                                            12. Park SW et al: Infantile lumbosacral spinal subdural abscess with sacral dermal sinus tract. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 32(1):E52-5, 2007
                                            13. Ozates M et al: Spinal subdural tuberculous abscess. Spinal Cord. 38(1):56-8, 2000
                                            14. Schneider P et al: Spinal subdural abscess in a pediatric patient: a case report and review of the literature. Pediatr Emerg Care. 14(1):22-3, 1998
                                            15. Martin RJ et al: Neurosurgical care of spinal epidural, subdural, and intramedullary abscesses and arachnoiditis. Orthop Clin North Am. 27(1):125-36, 1996
                                            16. Levy ML et al: Subdural empyema of the cervical spine: clinicopathological correlates and magnetic resonance imaging. Report of three cases. J Neurosurg. 81(1):160, 1994
                                            17. Sathi S et al: Spinal subdural abscess: successful treatment with limited drainage and antibiotics in a patient with AIDS. Surg Neurol. 42(5):424-7, 1994
                                            18. Bartels RH et al: Spinal subdural abscess. Case report. J Neurosurg. 76(2):307-11, 1992
                                            19. Krauss WE et al: Infections of the dural spaces. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 3(2):421-33, 1992
                                            20. Harries-Jones R et al: Meningitis and spinal subdural empyema as a complication of sinusitis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 53(5):441, 1990
                                            21. Hershkowitz S et al: Spinal empyema in Crohn's disease. J Clin Gastroenterol. 12(1):67-9, 1990
                                            22. Lownie SP et al: Spinal subdural empyema complicating cervical discography. Spine. 14(12):1415-7, 1989
                                            23. Butler EG et al: Spinal subdural abscess. Clin Exp Neurol. 25:67-70, 1988
                                            24. Harris LF et al: Subdural empyema and epidural abscess: recent experience in a community hospital. South Med J. 80(10):1254-8, 1987
                                            25. Knudsen LL et al: Computed tomographic myelography in spinal subdural empyema. Neuroradiology. 29(1):99, 1987
                                            26. Theodotou B et al: Spinal subdural empyema: diagnosis by spinal computed tomography. Surg Neurol. 21(6):610-2, 1984
                                            27. Reddy DR et al: Pneumococcal spinal subdural abscess (a case report). J Postgrad Med. 19(4):190-2, 1973
                                            28. Hirson C: Spinal subdural abscess. Lancet. 2(7424):1215-7, 1965
                                            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

                                                        • Synonyms

                                                          • Spinal subdural empyema
                                                          • Spinal subdural abscess (SSA)
                                                        • Definitions

                                                          • Collection of pus in "potential" space between dura and arachnoid

                                                        IMAGING

                                                        • General Features

                                                          • Radiographic Findings

                                                            • CT Findings

                                                              • MR Findings

                                                                • Nonvascular Interventions

                                                                  • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                                                                    • Imaging Recommendations

                                                                      DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                                        PATHOLOGY

                                                                        • General Features

                                                                          • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                                                            CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                            • Presentation

                                                                              • Demographics

                                                                                • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                                  • Treatment

                                                                                    DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                                    • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                                                      Selected References

                                                                                      1. Torres C et al: Imaging of spine infection. Semin Roentgenol. 52(1):17-26, 2017
                                                                                      2. Ngwenya LB et al: Concomitant epidural and subdural spinal abscess: a case report. Spine J. 16(4):e275-82, 2016
                                                                                      3. Kraeutler MJ et al: Spinal subdural abscess following epidural steroid injection. J Neurosurg Spine. 22(1):90-3, 2015
                                                                                      4. Moritani T et al: Pyogenic and non-pyogenic spinal infections: emphasis on diffusion-weighted imaging for the detection of abscesses and pus collections. Br J Radiol. 87(1041):20140011, 2014
                                                                                      5. Khalil JG et al: Thoracolumbosacral spinal subdural abscess: magnetic resonance imaging appearance and limited surgical management. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 38(13):E844-7, 2013
                                                                                      6. Diehn FE: Imaging of spine infection. Radiol Clin North Am. 50(4):777-98, 2012
                                                                                      7. Angsuwat M et al: Early detection of spinal sepsis. J Clin Neurosci. 17(1):59-63, 2010
                                                                                      8. Darouiche RO: Spinal epidural abscess and subdural empyema. Handb Clin Neurol. 96C:91-9, 2010
                                                                                      9. Velissaris D et al: Spinal subdural Staphylococcus aureus abscess: case report and review of the literature. World J Emerg Surg. 4:31, 2009
                                                                                      10. Sorar M et al: Spinal subdural abscess: a rare cause of low back pain. J Clin Neurosci. 15(3):292-4, 2008
                                                                                      11. Ko MW et al: Papilledema as a manifestation of a spinal subdural abscess. J Neurol Sci. 260(1-2):288-92, 2007
                                                                                      12. Park SW et al: Infantile lumbosacral spinal subdural abscess with sacral dermal sinus tract. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 32(1):E52-5, 2007
                                                                                      13. Ozates M et al: Spinal subdural tuberculous abscess. Spinal Cord. 38(1):56-8, 2000
                                                                                      14. Schneider P et al: Spinal subdural abscess in a pediatric patient: a case report and review of the literature. Pediatr Emerg Care. 14(1):22-3, 1998
                                                                                      15. Martin RJ et al: Neurosurgical care of spinal epidural, subdural, and intramedullary abscesses and arachnoiditis. Orthop Clin North Am. 27(1):125-36, 1996
                                                                                      16. Levy ML et al: Subdural empyema of the cervical spine: clinicopathological correlates and magnetic resonance imaging. Report of three cases. J Neurosurg. 81(1):160, 1994
                                                                                      17. Sathi S et al: Spinal subdural abscess: successful treatment with limited drainage and antibiotics in a patient with AIDS. Surg Neurol. 42(5):424-7, 1994
                                                                                      18. Bartels RH et al: Spinal subdural abscess. Case report. J Neurosurg. 76(2):307-11, 1992
                                                                                      19. Krauss WE et al: Infections of the dural spaces. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 3(2):421-33, 1992
                                                                                      20. Harries-Jones R et al: Meningitis and spinal subdural empyema as a complication of sinusitis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 53(5):441, 1990
                                                                                      21. Hershkowitz S et al: Spinal empyema in Crohn's disease. J Clin Gastroenterol. 12(1):67-9, 1990
                                                                                      22. Lownie SP et al: Spinal subdural empyema complicating cervical discography. Spine. 14(12):1415-7, 1989
                                                                                      23. Butler EG et al: Spinal subdural abscess. Clin Exp Neurol. 25:67-70, 1988
                                                                                      24. Harris LF et al: Subdural empyema and epidural abscess: recent experience in a community hospital. South Med J. 80(10):1254-8, 1987
                                                                                      25. Knudsen LL et al: Computed tomographic myelography in spinal subdural empyema. Neuroradiology. 29(1):99, 1987
                                                                                      26. Theodotou B et al: Spinal subdural empyema: diagnosis by spinal computed tomography. Surg Neurol. 21(6):610-2, 1984
                                                                                      27. Reddy DR et al: Pneumococcal spinal subdural abscess (a case report). J Postgrad Med. 19(4):190-2, 1973
                                                                                      28. Hirson C: Spinal subdural abscess. Lancet. 2(7424):1215-7, 1965