Acute central cord syndrome arising from a cervical epidural abscess: Case report

Robert Trombly, James D. Guest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Acute central cord syndrome (ACCS) is a well-known sequela to spinal trauma but has rarely been associated with nontraumatic etiologies. Spinal epidural abscess (SEA) and spinal osteomyelitis/discitis are also well characterized clinical entities. Neither SEA nor osteomyelitis leading to ACCS has been previously reported. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: In this report, a patient presented with refractory neck pain after minor trauma followed by development of left hand weakness and paresthesia, which progressed to a classic central cord injury clinical pattern over a period of 4 weeks. INTERVENTION: Imaging and laboratory studies were consistent with SEA and osteomyelitis. Motor evoked potentials obtained during surgery definitively corroborated the clinical diagnosis of ACCS and supported a long tract pathophysiology. CONCLUSION: ACCS may be caused by SEA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E424-E425
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007


  • Central cord injury
  • Epidural abscess
  • Osteomyelitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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