How are spinal epidural abscess caused by Proteus infection characterized?

Updated: Mar 03, 2020
  • Author: Shirin A Mazumder, MD, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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A spinal epidural abscess may extend over many spinal levels. The epidural mass may consist of pus and granulation tissue in acute cases or of fibrous granulation tissue in chronic cases.

The thoracic spine is the site of the abscess in 50%-80% of patients, followed in frequency by the cervical and lumbar spine. Isolated epidural abscesses resulting from hematogenous spread generally occur dorsal to the thecal sac, whereas contiguous spread of infection from an underlying osteomyelitis collects anterior to the thecal sac.

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