CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · IJNS 2017; 06(01): 031-035
DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1588039
Short Illustrative Review
Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.

Intramedullary Spinal Cord Abscess: Illustration of Two Cases and Review of Literature

Raj S. Chandran
1  Department of Neurosurgery, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
,
Rajmohan Bhanuprabhakar
1  Department of Neurosurgery, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
,
Sivakumar Sumukhan
2  T D Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

26 February 2016

20 June 2016

Publication Date:
06 March 2017 (online)

  

Abstract

Intramedullary spinal cord abscess is a rare infection of the spinal cord with less than 120 cases reported since its first description by Hart in 1830. It is usually associated with abnormalities of the spinal cord or documented source of infection or immunodeficiency, requiring clinical radiological suspicion for accurate diagnosis. The first case is a middle-aged healthy woman without any underlying risk factors, presented with progressive paraparesis, in whom prompt, accurate diagnosis with contrast magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion-weighted imaging, and apparent diffusion coefficient mapping followed by early surgery was possible, which resulted in the favorable neurological outcome. The second case is a 10-year-old boy with paraparesis whose definite treatment and surgery was delayed due to a delay in accurate clinical and radiological diagnosis which resulted in poor outcomes. Hence, we try to establish that prompt diagnosis and surgical treatment can result in a favorable neurological outcome, though the prognosis, in general, is poor in this clinical condition. A review of literature in support of our cases is given.