Pathologic approach to spinal cord infections

Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2015 May;25(2):163-72. doi: 10.1016/j.nic.2015.01.010. Epub 2015 Feb 20.


The pathologic evaluation of spinal cord infections requires comprehensive clinical, radiological, and laboratory correlation, because the histologic findings in acute, chronic, or granulomatous infections rarely provide clues for the specific cause. This brief review focuses on the pathologic mechanisms as well as practical issues in the diagnosis and reporting of infections of the spinal cord. Examples are provided of the common infectious agents and methods for their diagnosis. By necessity, discussion is restricted to the infections of the medulla spinalis proper and its meninges, and not bone or soft tissue infections.

Keywords: Abscess; Bacteria; Fungus; Granuloma; Infections; Meningitis; Myelitis; Myelopathy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Humans
  • Spinal Cord / microbiology*
  • Spinal Cord / pathology*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / microbiology*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / pathology*