Spinal epidural abscess and paralytic mechanisms

Nirav H. Shah, Karen L. Roos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

16 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The incidence of spinal epidural abscess is increasing, and the understanding of the pathophysiology is evolving. Better understanding of the pathophysiology, specifically the role of ischemia, warrants a change in therapy. Recent Findings: Paralysis in spinal epidural abscess may be the result of spinal cord compression, spinal cord arterial and/or venous ischemia and thrombophlebitis or a combination of these. Summary: Recent evidence indicates the following areas of investigation and management can improve outcome in spinal epidural abscess: minimally invasive surgery early versus medical management when there are no significant neurological deficits, neuroradiologic arterial evaluation with therapies directed at vascular ischemia and thrombosis, and aggressive rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-317
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • spinal cord compression
  • spinal epidural abscess
  • spinal infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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