Bacterial Infection in Deep Paraspinal Muscles in a Parturient Following Epidural Analgesia: A Case Report and Literature Review

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Bacterial infection related to epidural catheterizations could occur. In general, the incidence of postoperative infection at the insertion site is very low. Paucity literatures are reported for paraspinal muscle infection after epidural analgesia in parturient. We report a case of paraspinal muscle infection shortly after epidural analgesia in a parturient, who was subjected to because of threatened preterm labor. Epidural morphine was administered for 2 days for childbirth pain control. She began to have constant low-back pain and fever on postpartum Day 2. Magnetic resonance image revealed a broad area of subcutaneous edema with a continuum along the catheter trajectory deep to the paraspinal muscles. A catheter-related bacterial infection was suspected. The surgical debridement and drainage was required combined with intravenous antibiotics on postpartum Day 3. She was soon cured uncomplicatedly.

Epidural analgesia is effective to control labor pain and, in general, it is safe. However, the sequelae of complicated infection may be underestimated. A literature search yielded 7 other cases of catheter-related epidural abscess or soft tissue infection. Vigilance for these infections, especially in postpartum patients with backache, is needed. Moreover, early detection and proper treatment of infectious signs at postanesthetic visit are very important.

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