Decreased morbidity from acute bacterial spinal epidural abscesses using computed tomography and nonsurgical treatment in selected patients

Ann Neurol. 1985 Apr;17(4):350-5. doi: 10.1002/ana.410170408.


We describe 5 patients with spinal epidural abscesses in whom computed tomographic scanning confirmed diagnosis without the use of myelography. One patient required urgent surgery because of rapidly deteriorating neurological status, but the other 4 were treated nonsurgically. The medical treatment of these patients and 9 others described in the literature consisted of antibiotics administered parenterally for a minimum of 8 weeks, followed by oral antibiotic therapy. Early diagnosis with computed tomographic scanning and a benign neurological state at the onset of treatment were associated with good results.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / diagnostic imaging*
  • Abscess / drug therapy
  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spinal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents