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MRI characteristics of brucellar spondylodiscitis in cervical or thoracic segments

Purpose/Aim: The purpose was to determine the distinguishing of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for brucellar spondylodiscitis in cervical or thoracic segments.

Materials and Methods: 20 among 260 brucellosis patients, aged 32-63 y old (average, 50.3 y), were chosen. We diagnosed according to epidemiological history, clinical symptoms, Brucellar standard agglutination testing, and MRI findings.

Results: The majority of patients had involvement of two contiguous vertebrae bodies at only a single spinal region. 41 vertebras and 21 discs were study in 20 cases. Cervical cases had a predilection in C4- C7 vertebral bodies. Thoracic cases were noted in the lower thoracic spine. 8 (40%) patients had paravertebra and 6 (30%) had paravertebral fester formation. 7 cases (35%) displayed epidural extension and epidural abscess were detected in 7 (35%) cases.

Conclusion: Paravertebral and/or epidural masses and neurological involvement were relatively more common in patients with cervical or thoracic brucellar spondylodiscitis than those with lumbar spondylodiscitis. The characteristics on MRI imaging of brucellar spondylodiscitis in cervical or thoracic segments is certain specificity. In most cases, MRI combined with epidemiological history and serological testing could accurately diagnose brucellar spondylodiscitis.

Author(s): Yu-zhen Bai, Peng-fei Qiao, Yang Gao, Guang-ming Niu