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Logo of neurologyNeurologyAmerican Academy of Neurology
 
Neurology. 2013 April 9; 80(15): e169.
PMCID: PMC3662265

Teaching NeuroImages: Multiple epidural abscesses after acupuncture

Hyun-Jeung Yu, MD, MS,corresponding author

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Ku-Eun Lee, MD,

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Hyun Seok Kang, MD,

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and Sook Young Roh, MD, PhD

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Abstract

An 80-year-old woman presented with 2 days of progressive quadriparesis, difficulty voiding, and fever. She had received acupuncture in the cervical and lumbar regions for 5 days beginning a week before. Whole-spine MRI showed multiple epidural abscesses at levels C3-7, L3-5, and L5-S1 (figure). Broad-spectrum antibiotics were administered, and the abscesses were surgically drained. Strains of Staphylococcus aureus were isolated. Single epidural abscesses after acupuncture have been reported, but multiple abscesses due to acupuncture are extremely rare.1,2

An 80-year-old woman presented with 2 days of progressive quadriparesis, difficulty voiding, and fever. She had received acupuncture in the cervical and lumbar regions for 5 days beginning a week before. Whole-spine MRI showed multiple epidural abscesses at levels C3-C7, L3-L5, and L5-S1 (figure). Broad-spectrum antibiotics were administered, and the abscesses were surgically drained. Strains of Staphylococcus aureus were isolated. Single epidural abscesses after acupuncture have been reported, but multiple abscesses due to acupuncture are extremely rare.1,2

Figure
Multiple epidural abscesses (arrowheads) at the levels of C6 to C7 and L3 to L5

AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS

Hyun-Jeung Yu: writing the manuscript. Ku-Eun Lee, Hyun Seok Kang, Sook Young Roh: review and discussion of the manuscript.

STUDY FUNDING

No targeted funding reported.

DISCLOSURE

The authors report no disclosures relevant to the manuscript. Go to Neurology.org for full disclosures.

REFERENCES

1. Bang MS, Lim SH. Paraplegia caused by spinal infection after acupuncture. Spinal Cord 2006;44:258–259. [PubMed]
2. Yazawa S, Ohi T, Sugimoto S, Satoh S, Matsukura S. Cervical spinal epidural abscess following acupuncture: successful treatment with antibiotics. Intern Med 1998;37:161–165. [PubMed]

Articles from Neurology are provided here courtesy of American Academy of Neurology