: Intramedullary spinal cord abscess due to Listeria Monocytogenes is an uncommon condition usually affecting immunocompromised patients.
: Case study.
: A 69-year-old man presented with 3 weeks history of subacute paralysis of both lower limbs and the left upper limb. Myelogram and CT scan showed a widened upper cervical cord. CSF revealed lymphocytosis, moderately elevated protein and depressed glucose. A gadolinium-enhanced MRI showed diffuse cervical cord edema with two ring-enhancing lesions at C2-C3. Blood and CSF cultures grew Listeria Monocytogenes. He received IV ampicillin and gentamycin; the latter was discontinued after 1 month due to nephrotoxicity. Serial MRI over the next 3 months showed significant reduction in the size of these abscesses. The patient made a modest improvement in the power of his lower limbs, however he remained bed-ridden. Aside from being a mild, diet-controlled diabetic, there was no evidence of immunosuppression.
: Listeria spinal cord abscess is a treatable disorder and should be considered in the differential diagnosis in patients with a subacute onset of spinal cord dysfunction.