Clinical and Radiological Presentation of Adult Tuberculous Spondylitis


1 Department of Infectious Diseases,

2 Department of Radiology

3 Department of Pulmonary Medicine,

4 Department of Pediatrics NRITLD, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, TEHRAN-IRAN


Introduction: Tuberculous spondylitis is an uncommon form of extra-pulmonary TB. Delay in establishing diagnosis and management causes spinal cord compression and spinal deformity. We studied to determine clinical and radiological presentations of this dangerous form of TB diseases. Materials and Methods: During 2002-3 years, all patients over 14 years old who hospitalized with a probable diagnosis of TB spondylitis were evaluated. Everybody with mycobacteriologic or pathologic confirmation was enrolled in study. Results: fourteen patients met our inclusion criteria. The mean age (±SD) was 39(±16) year. 57% were male. Treatment delay was 8.3 months. Fever reported in 7(50%) patients. Local tenderness was reported in 92.6% of cases. PPD was positive in half of the patients. The most regions involved were T8-T12 (43%) and L1-L3 (36%) respectively. Sputum smear was surprisingly positive in 50% of cases. Most of the patients had received anti-TB drugs for 9-12 months. Conclusion: CT guided aspiration and biopsy of spine lead to correct diagnosis in 93% of patients. Simultaneous pulmonary involvement is evident in half of them. (Tanaffos 2003; 2(6): 59-65)