Spondylodiscitis: is really all well defined?

E Marchionni, L Marconi, D Ruinato, E Zamparini, Alessandro Gasbarrini, P Viale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The term spondylodiscitis describes the infection of both the intervertebral disc space and the adjacent vertebrae. Pyogenic Vertebral Osteomyelitis (PVO) is more common in older patients (mean age 59-69 years) with a male preponderance (52-69%). Recent studies reported an alarming increase of incidence over the last 20 years, due to the increase of diagnostic sensibility, the increase of the average lifetime and to the consequent association of chronic disabling pathologies, of immunosuppression, of surgical or invasive procedure. Improvements in radiological diagnosis, surgical techniques, and management of antimicrobial therapy have greatly improved PVO clinical outcome, but morbidity remains significant mostly because of the delay of diagnosis. The non-specific features of this infection can lead to underestimate the patient conditions, ending to a significant delay in diagnosis, reported from 30 to 90 days, and consequently to severe impairments, such as spine deformity and permanent neurological deficit. The duration of medical treatment is not yet established, and further randomized trials are needed to define it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number2 Suppl
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis
  • Diagnosis
  • Surgical techniques and management


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