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June 16, 1945


JAMA. 1945;128(7):509-512. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860240035009

The consequences of an unrecognized purulent collection in the epidural space can be so devastating that further emphasis on the clinical syndrome accompanying this lesion has ample justification. Although over 200 cases are reported in the literature and recent reviews by Gasul and Jaffe,1 Browder and Meyers2 and Campbell3 have drawn attention to this condition, nevertheless the high percentage of delayed diagnoses with resulting irreversible cord damage causing severe and permanent neurologic sequelae warrant a further report. The 14 cases on which this communication is based furnish no new nor striking clinical information. But the antecedent history and development of symptoms is so uniform that repetition is justified, if only to remind the profession, that this condition does exist, to describe again its salient features and thereby, perhaps, help in early diagnosis and prompt operation. For unless realization is widespread among medical men that epidural infection can