BMJ Case Reports 2011; doi:10.1136/bcr.11.2010.3512
  • Rare disease

A 51-year-old man with intramedullary spinal cord abscess having a patent foramen ovale

  1. Fumio Kanda4
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Hyogo Prefectural Amagasaki Hospital, Amagasaki, Japan
  2. 2Department of Neurology, Kasai City Hospital, Kasai, Japan
  3. 3Department of Neurology, Hyogo Rehabilitation Center Hospital, Kobe, Japan
  4. 4Department of Neurology, Kobe University Hospital, Kobe, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Kanako Higuchi, kanakohiguchi1214{at}


The authors report a case of a 51-year-old man with intramedullary spinal cord abscess (ISCA) having a patent foramen ovale (PFO). He developed fever and tetraplegia after a recent dental treatment. MRI showed ISCA with longitudinal swelling from the upper cervical to the lumbar spinal cord. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis indicated bacterial meningitis, and the culture of CSF revealed Streptococcus viridans. Transoesophageal echocardiography revealed the existence of a PFO. We suspected another possibility other than systemic bacteraemia, that paradoxical bacteric embolisation through PFO after the dental treatment caused ISCA. While several reports of brain abscess with PFO are available, this is the first report of ISCA with PFO.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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