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Virtual Pediatric Hospital: Paediapaedia: Diskitis Paediapaedia: Musculoskeletal Diseases

Diskitis

Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


Clinical Presentation:
Symptoms are fever, irritability, abdominal pain, back or extremity pain, limp, and refusal to bear weight. Peaks between 6 months and 4 years of age with a second peak between 10 and 14 years old.

Etiology/Pathophysiology:
Inflammation of the intervertebral disc space in children probably due to low grade bacterial or viral infection. Most commonly seen in the lumbar spine

Pathology:
Not applicable

Imaging Findings:
Plain film findings lag behind symptoms. By three weeks after initial infection the disc space is partially decreased due to disc destruction. Over the next few months irregularity of adjacent endplates with reactive sclerosis is seen. The pedicles and lamina are not involved. After recovery there is often an increase in the AP dimension of vertebral body and an increase in disc height.

DDX:

References:
See References Chapter.

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