Psoas Abscess: A Primer for the Internist

, Department of Internal Medicine, Lincoln Health Center and Durham Regional Hospital, Durham, NC

South Med J. 2001;94(1) 

In This Article


Staphylococcus aureus is the pathogen in 80% of cases of primary psoas abscess.[2,3] Other pathogens include Serratia marcescens,[3]Pseudomonas aeruginosa,[3]Haemophilus aphrophilus,[5] and Proteus mirabilis.[1] Secondary psoas abscess is usually caused by enteric bacteria. These include Escherichia coli, Streptococcus species, Enterobacter species, and Salmonella enteritidis.[3] Methicillin resistant S aureus is also a known pathogen.[3]Mycobacterium tuberculosis as a cause of psoas abscess is currently rare in the United States. In areas of the world where tuberculosis is still a common disease, it continues to be an important cause of psoas abscess. Nontuberculous mycobacteria are also important, as evidenced by recent case reports of psoas abscess caused by M kansasii[6] and M xenopi.[7]


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