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Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

Epidural abscess caused by Streptococcus milleri in a pregnant woman

Russell Lampen1 and Gonzalo Bearman12*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond VA, USA

2 Quality Health Care, Department of Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond VA, USA

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2005, 5:100  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-5-100

Published: 3 November 2005

Abstract

Background

Bacteria in the Streptococcus milleri group (S. anginosus, S. constellatus, and S. intermedius) are associated with bacteremia and abscess formation. While most reports of Streptococcus milleri group (SMG) infection occur in patients with underlying medical conditions, SMG infections during pregnancy have been documented. However, SMG infections in pregnant women are associated with either neonatal or maternal puerperal sepsis. Albeit rare, S. milleri spinal-epidural abscess in pregnancy has been reported, always as a complication of spinal-epidural anesthesia. We report a case of spinal-epidural abscess caused by SMG in a young, pregnant woman without an antecedent history of spinal epidural anesthesia and without any underlying risk factors for invasive streptococcal disease.

Case presentation

A 25 year old pregnant woman developed neurological symptoms consistent with spinal cord compression at 20 weeks gestation. She underwent emergency laminectomy for decompression and was treated with ceftriaxone 2 gm IV daily for 28 days. She was ambulatory at the time of discharge from the inpatient rehabilitation unit with residual lower extremity weakness.

Conclusion

To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of a Streptococcus milleri epidural abscess in a healthy, pregnant woman with no history of epidural anesthesia or invasive procedures. This report adds to the body of literature on SMG invasive infections. Treatment of SMG spinal-epidural abscess with neurologic manifestations should include prompt and aggressive surgical decompression coupled with targeted anti-infective therapy.