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Virtual Pediatric Hospital: Paediapaedia: Diskitis, Tuberculous Paediapaedia: Musculoskeletal Diseases

Diskitis, Tuberculous

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

Clinical Presentation:
Most common infection of the pediatric spine. May occur at the time of the primary lung infection or years later.

Nidus of infection is in a vertebral body with spread up and down the vertebral column via paraspinal ligaments. Compromises intervening discs by direct invasion. Lower thoracic / upper lumbar spine are most common areas. Scoliosis and kyphosis are frequent complications.

Not applicable

Imaging Findings:
Paraspinal abscesses are common and may calcify. Ninety percent of patients have at least two vertebral bodies involved. Infection is limited to the vertebral body and its posterior elements are spared. Paravertebral soft tissue masses, vertebral body destruction, and loss of disc spaces are seen.


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