What are infectious causes of cauda equina syndrome (CES)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: Segun Toyin Dawodu, JD, MD, MS, MBA, LLM, FAAPMR, FAANEM; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, CPE, MHCM, FAAPL  more...
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Infectious conditions, including epidural abscess, can lead to deformity of the nerve roots and spinal cord. [57] Symptoms generally include severe back pain and a rapidly progressing motor weakness.

Infectious causes for cauda equina syndrome may be pyogenic or nonpyogenic. Pyogenic abscesses are generally found in an immunocompromised or poorly nourished host. Staphylococcus aureus causes epidural abscesses in 25-60% of cases, but, recently, an increasing incidence of infections with methicillin-resistant S aureus, Pseudomonas species, and Escherichia coli have been recorded. A high index of suspicion is helpful in correct diagnosis and management. [57]

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