Joseph Barsuli, 49, was experiencing aches and left-sided neck pain. The doctor who examined him diagnosed a virus. He then developed numbness in his finger and arm, prompting his admission to a hospital.
At the hospital, a neurologist ordered a CT scan of the cervical spine, which was read by a radiologist, Dr. Wayne Liou, an employee of Virtual Radiological Corp. Dr. Liou interpreted the test as normal; however, the next day, another local radiologist reviewed the film and diagnosed a cervical epidural abscess.
A spinal epidural abscess is an accumulation of pus in the epidural space that can compress the spinal cord. The diagnosis of this is by MRI or by myelography followed by a CT scan. Treatment involves antibiotics and sometimes the drainage of the abscess. The symptoms of this condition are pain, fever and neurologic deficits.