A small but instructive case series from Kovalik et al in a 1996 issue of JASN reviewed all the cases of dialysis patients with epidural abscess over a 5-year period within the Duke health care system. Of the 10 patients identified, the majority (8) had catheters, 5 of whom with known bacteremia with an attempt to treat the infection with antibiotics alone. The lesson, if you haven't learned it by now: catheter-associated bacteremia virtually always should be treated with a line change, as there are significant risks to doing otherwise.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Epidural Abscesses in ESRD Patients
Infectious metastases (e.g., infective endocarditis, epidural abscess, liver & lung abscesses, etc) are unfortunately not uncommon in the ESRD population, particularly in those with in-dwelling catheters. I have personally seen several cases of epidural abscesses as a fellow, a complication which can be neurologically devastating and nearly impossible to treat. Clearly, prevention is the key issue.