Cervical subdural empyema following acupuncture

Ming Hong Chen, Mei Hsiu Chen, Jing Shan Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


A review of the literature reveals only a few cases of spinal subdural empyema. Etiologies of spinal subdural empyema include hematogenous spread from skin lesions, systemic sepsis, direct spread from spinal osteomyelitis and complications of discography. However, in this report, we describe a patient who developed spinal subdural empyema following several cervical acupuncture sessions. Operative treatment with adequate laminectomy, removal of abscess, and copious irrigation resulted in good recovery. Microbiologic culture study of pus obtained at surgery was positive for Staphylococcus aureus. The need for sterilization procedures for acupuncture is emphasized and a brief review of the relevant literature is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-911
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • acupuncture
  • cervical
  • subdural empyema

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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