High thoracic spinal infection following upper gastrointestinal work-up

J Clin Neurosci. 2007 Nov;14(11):1132-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2006.02.023. Epub 2007 May 11.


Spinal infections originating from the gastrointestinal tract are rare. We report a patient in whom esophageal rupture during endoscopy led to spinal infection with neurological deficit. An 80-year-old Asian man with a history of recent endoscopic gastrointestinal investigation presented to our clinic with the chief complaints of upper thoracic discomfort, chest pain and mild intermittent fever. Progressive weakness and numbness in both lower extremities had developed during the previous two weeks. A thoracic spine MRI showed a space-occupying lesion with involvement of the T2 and T3 vertebral bodies including an epidural abscess. After surgical decompression, the patient gradually recovered power in his lower extremities. Early diagnosis is a key factor to avoid neurologic sequelae in the treatment of patients with spinal infection. Physicians need to be aware of this potential complication following endoscopic gastrointestinal investigation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System / adverse effects*
  • Epidural Abscess / diagnostic imaging
  • Epidural Abscess / etiology*
  • Epidural Abscess / pathology
  • Esophagus / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Osteomyelitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteomyelitis / etiology*
  • Osteomyelitis / pathology
  • Rupture
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Spinal Diseases / pathology
  • Thoracic Vertebrae
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed