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Spinal Cord Infections


Infections involving the spinal canal include epidural abscesses (infection in the epidural space), meningitis (infection of the meninges), subdural abscesses (infections of the subdural space), and intramedullary abscesses (infections within the spinal cord).
Because the first 3 infections are discussed elsewhere (see Epidural and Subdural Infections, Meningitis), this article addresses only intramedullary abscesses.

Intramedullary spinal cord abscesses are extremely rare lesions. Since the original description in 1830 by Hart, approximately 100 cases have been reported. Their rarity, compared with brain abscesses, has been attributed to the relatively lower volume of the spinal cord and its particular blood supply.

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