Differentiation between infectious spondylodiscitis versus inflammatory or degenerative spinal changes: How can magnetic resonance imaging help the clinician?

Fausto Salaffi, Luca Ceccarelli, Marina Carotti, Marco Di Carlo, Gabriele Polonara, Giancarlo Facchini, Rita Golfieri, Andrea Giovagnoni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Spondylodiscitis is a complex disease whose diagnosis and management are still challenging. The differentiation between infectious and non-infectious aetiology is mandatory to avoid delays in the treatment of life-threatening infectious conditions. Imaging methods, in particular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), play a key role in differential diagnosis. MRI provides detailed anatomical information, especially regarding the epidural space and spinal cord, and may allow differential diagnosis by assessing the characteristics of certain infectious and inflammatory/degenerative lesions. In this article, we provide an overview of the radiological characteristics and differentiating features of non-infectious inflammatory spinal disorders and infectious spondylodiscitis, focussing on MRI results and presenting relevant clinical and pathological features that help early diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalRadiol. Med.
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Apr 2 2021

Keywords

  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Spondyloarthritides
  • Spondylodiscitis
  • Vertebral infection

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