Vertebral osteomyelitis: eight years' experience of 100 cases

Mete B., Kurt C., Yilmaz M. H., Ertan G., Ozaras R., Mert A., ...More

RHEUMATOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, vol.32, no.11, pp.3591-3597, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00296-011-2233-z
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.3591-3597
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


To evaluate the etiology and characteristics of vertebral osteomyelitis cases in our country, patients with vertebral osteomyelitis between January 2000 and December 2007 were included in this study. Clinical and laboratory data of the patients were collected from the medical records retrospectively. Of these 100 patients, 44 had pyogenic, 24 had brucellar, and 32 had tuberculous spondylodiscitis. The age of the patients ranged from 13 to 82 years, with a mean of (SD +/-) 55 +/- A 15.6 years. Within the pyogenic group, 10 (22.7%) patients had a spinal surgery history, and in 18 patients of the pyogenic group, an etiological agent was isolated. Ten (56%) of these 18 were methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. While all of the patients included in this study suffered from pain, 49 of these had fever. Sixty-nine percent of the patients had lumbar involvement. The etiological distribution may differ according to geographical areas. Although brucella and tuberculosis (TB) are endemic in our country, pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis was more frequent. The most common involved area in our patients was the lumbar vertebrae. Although thoracic involvement may be more predominant in tuberculous vertebral osteomyelitis, it does not strongly suggest TB. Magnetic resonance imaging may exclude some disorders mimicking vertebral osteomyelitis and may delineate the degree of the involvement. Microbiological and/or histopathological examination of computerized tomography-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsies are the mainstays for the diagnosis. Suspicion and early diagnosis seem critical for preventing sequelae development.