Epidural abscess is a neurologic emergency. Diagnosis may be difficult and costly to patients and health care providers in terms of time and money expended. We present a case of epidural abscess diagnosed in a cancer patient with an implanted epidural catheter. Diagnostic studies were performed that documented the presence of a spinal epidural abscess. Routine aspiration of an implanted epidural catheter facilitated the early diagnosis of epidural abscess in our patient prior to the performance of these studies.
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