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Epidural abscess secondary to acute appendicitis


A 62-year-old man presented via the emergency department with a 1-week history of back pain, on a background of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and rectal carcinoma for which he had undergone abdominoperineal resection, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He exhibited signs of sepsis, midline lumbar spine tenderness and reduced hip flexion. CT of the abdomen and pelvis showed a presacral collection contiguous with the tip of the appendix, and MRI lumbar spine revealed abscess invation into the epidural space extending to T9. He underwent a laparotomy with washout of the presacral abscess and appendicectomy and prolonged course intravenous antibiotic therapy. At 3 months after initial presentation he had made a full clinical recovery with progressive radiological resolution of the epidural abscess. The objective of the case report is to highlight a unique and clinically significant complication of a very common pathology (appendicitis) and to briefly discuss other intra-abdominal sources of epidural abscess.

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