An epidural abscess is a walled off area of infection in the epidural space.
This is the space between the outermost membrane of the brain or spinal cord
and the overlying bone and ligaments.
What is going on in the body?
An epidural abscess is usually caused by the spread of infection
from elsewhere in the body. The infection may spread either directly or through
What are the causes and risks of the infection?
An epidural abscess usually results from the spread of infection either
directly or through the bloodstream. For example, an infection of the nasal
sinuses or an open skull fracture can cause an abscess to develop. Factors that
increase a person's risk for an abscess include:
bacterial endocarditis, an infection of the heart
an implant, such as a
pacemaker, that has become infected
an infected urinary
catheter or intravenous
bone infection, especially in the vertebrae of the spine
a recent sinus infection
a tooth abscess
an upper respiratory
a urinary tract
a weakened immune system as a result of diabetes, HIV, or other