Aggressive surgical intervention in end-stage renal disease patients with spinal epidural abscess

Mei Yi Wu, Tsai Sheng Fu, Chih Hsiang Chang, Hsiang Hao Hsu, Ming Yang Chang, Ya Chung Tian, Cheng Chieh Hung, Ji Tseng Fang*, Lih Huei Chen, Yung Chang Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Despite advances in imaging, as well as antibiotic and surgical treatment, spinal epidural abscess (SEA) remains a challenging problem in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. This investigation assesses the influence of ESRD on clinical manifestations, complications, and outcomes in patients with SEA. Methods: This study retrospectively reviewed medical records of 41 patients with SEA treated during 2003-2006. The patients comprised two groups: group I (patients with ESRD) and group II (patients without ESRD). Patient characteristics, including age, gender, comorbidities, clinical presentations, laboratory data, locations of epidural abscess, and outcome, were recorded and compared. Results: The final sample comprised 41 patients. The mean age of the subjects was 62 + 12 years. The sample included 12 patients with ESRD and 29 without ESRD. The development of symptoms was similar for both groups. Group I patients displayed higher serum erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) (108 + 26 vs. 81 + 31 mm/h, p = 0.014) and lower serum hematocrit (27.1 + 4.3 vs. 33.7 + 5.1%, p < 0.001) than group II patients. Overall survival at 3 months was 88.9% and 93.1% for patients in groups I and II, respectively (p = 0.876). Meanwhile, patients that underwent surgical decompression of epidural abscess received more surgeries than group I patients (1.08 vs. 0.55, p = 0.086), although the difference was not significant. Conclusions: ESRD is a risk factor for repeat surgery in patients with SEA. This investigation suggests that ESRD patients with SEA may require aggressive surgical intervention despite ESRD not affecting their long-term prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-586
Number of pages5
JournalRenal Failure
Issue number6
StatePublished - 07 2011


  • Spinal epidural abscess
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • back pain
  • end-stage renal disease
  • surgical decompression


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