What causes spinal epidural abscess?

Updated: Jul 12, 2018
  • Author: J Stephen Huff, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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See the list below:

  • Most cases arise from hematogenous seeding of the epidural space from a distant source of infection.

  • A few cases are the result of direct extension of infection from the spine or paraspinal tissues.

  • Sources of hematogenous infection

    • Skin and soft tissue

    • Infected catheter

    • Bacterial endocarditis

    • Respiratory tract infection

    • Urinary tract infection

    • Dental abscess

    • Others

  • Sources of contiguous spread

    • Vertebral osteomyelitis

    • Retropharyngeal abscess

    • Dermal sinus tract

    • Psoas abscess

    • Penetrating injury

    • Epidural injections or catheters

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