Purpose. We report 15 cases of spondylodiscitis due to infective processes of different etiology and stress the role of MRI in the diagnosis and follow-up of this condition, whose high epidemiologic recrudescence is probably related to an increased westward migratory flow. Patient and methods. February through December, 1996, fifteen patients with acute spinal pain were submitted to MRI (1.0 T superconductive magnet, Magnetom SP42E, Siemens, Erlangen, Germany). In all cases both the painful spinal tract and the rest of the spine were studied to detect any infiltrative processes elsewhere in the spine. All patients underwent MR follow-up, according to the evolution of subjective symptoms, until complete recovery of the infections. Results. MRI always permitted the correct diagnosis to be made and the correct evaluation of infection evolution, allowing adequate (medical and/or surgical) treatment to be carried out in the early stage of infections. Discussion. MRI can be considered the best diagnostic tool study osteomedullary inflammations and, particularly, to diagnose and follow-up spondylodiscitis. This technique permits clear differentiation between the different evolution stages of the infections, as well as the evaluation of bone, disks, epidural spaces and spinal cord involvement. Moreover the MR findings permit adequate treatment choices, which results in much fewer complications and therefore better prognosis. Conclusions. The role of MRI in the diagnosis and follow-up of spondylodiscitis has been fully discussed in the literature. Our report is aimed at stressing the important role of MRI as the technique of choice for the diagnosis of suspected spondylodiscitis, especially considering the high recrudescence of this condition in Western populations which is probably related to increased westward migrations.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging