Ruptured long intramedullary spinal cord abscess successfully treated with antibiotic treatment

Takayoshi Akimoto, Satoshi Hirose, Tomotaka Mizoguchi, Yuki Yokota, Makoto Hara, Masaki Ishihara, Akihiko Morita, Hideto Nakajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Intramedullary spinal cord abscess (ISCA) is an extremely rare infection of the central nervous system. We report a 17-year old man with ISCA that suggested rupture confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The patient presented with meningeal signs, severe paraplegia, sensory impairment with a sensory level, and urinary retention. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) study showed pleocytosis with polymorphonuclear cells and a decreased glucose level suggesting bacterial meningitis. Computed tomography showed maxillary sinusitis and a lower respiratory tract infection. Spinal MRI showed an ISCA from Th5 to Th12. Part of the abscess seemed to have ruptured into the medullary cavity. Streptococcus intermedius was cultured from CSF, sputum, and the maxillary sinus abscess. It appeared that Streptococcus intermedius transferred from the respiratory tract to the spinal cord hematogenously, formed the ISCA, and the ISCA ruptured. The patient was treated with ampicillin, vancomycin, and meropenem. After 56 days of treatment, he could walk with a walker. In the present case, the MRI findings were helpful for early diagnosis and follow-up of the pathogenic condition. Although the present case suggested rupture of ISCA, he recovered with antibiotic therapy alone. This suggested earlier diagnosis with MRI and aggressive antibiotic therapy appear to be critical factors that determine the prognosis of patients with ISCA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-251
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Abscess
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Spinal cord infection


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