Transverse myelitis associated with Acinetobacter baumanii intrathecal pump catheter-related infection

Academic Article


  • Objective: To describe a late neurologic complication of intrathecal pump implantation and show the methods used for the diagnosis and successful treatment of transverse myelitis in this setting. Case Report: A 32-year-old man with a chronic abdominal pain syndrome presented with right lower-extremity numbness 2 months after the placement of an intrathecal morphine pump. This progressed to bilateral lower extremity and ascending sensory loss to T12-L1 dermatome, significant lower-extremity weakness, constipation with overflow incontinence, and detrusor instability causing urinary incontinence in discrete episodes over the following 2 months consistent with a myelopathy. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the thoracic spine and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis were consistent with transverse myelitis. The intrathecal pump was removed and an Acinetobacter baumanii catheter-tip infection was diagnosed. Clinical course improved with the co-administration of intravenous corticosteroids and antibiotics, with significant clinical improvement within 30 days. Conclusions: Clinicians should recognize transverse myelitis as a possible late complication of intrathecal pump placement. Early medical intervention and removal of the intrathecal pump may be necessary to prevent irreversible spinal cord damage and may support good recovery.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ubogu EE; Lindenberg JR; Werz MA
  • Start Page

  • 470
  • End Page

  • 474
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 5