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December 1988

Epidural Spinal Infection in Intravenous Drug Abusers

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Drs Koppel, Tuchman, and Daras), Neurosurgery (Dr Mangiardi), and Radiology (Dr Weitzner), New York Medical College, Valhalla.

Arch Neurol. 1988;45(12):1331-1337. doi:10.1001/archneur.1988.00520360049011

• The incidence of spinal epidural abscess and disk space infection appears to be rising in intravenous drug-using patients. We report 18 cases seen over three years in two municipal hospitals. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common infective agent, but two patients had Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Computed tomography of the spine facilitates diagnosis. Early treatment improves outcome but host factors play a role in recovery.

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