Spinal epidural infections were diagnosed before the onset of neurological deficits in six patients and treated nonsurgically. The diagnosis was based on the clinical presentation and on the results of myelography and computerized tomography scanning. Positive cultures were obtained from blood in all six patients, from aspiration of a paraspinous infection in two, and from a skin abscess and a pulmonary empyema in one patient each. Staphylococcus aureus was the causative organism in five cases. All patients were treated with intravenous antibiotics and remained neurologically intact throughout the course of treatment. Five patients have had no recurrence of their symptoms. One patient eventually required surgery for persistent discitis.