Author(s): Mulleman D, Mammou S, Griffoul I, Avimadje A, Goupille P,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To investigate the characteristics of patients managed for spinal tuberculosis at the rheumatology department of the Tours Teaching Hospital, France, between 1986 and 2003. METHODS: Retrospective chart review. The incidence, epidemiology, clinical features, imaging study findings, and diagnostic procedures were recorded. RESULTS: The annual incidence of spinal tuberculosis was stable throughout the study period. There were 24 patients, 15 women and nine men with a mean age of 61 years; 15 patients were of French descent, three were of Portuguese descent, two were Asian, and four were North-African. Risk factors consisted of alcohol abuse in one patient, diabetes in two patients, glucocorticoid therapy in two patients, and a history of tuberculosis in six patients; none of the patients had AIDS. The cervical spine was involved in two patients, the thoracic spine in 11 patients, and the lumbar spine in 12 patients. Mean time from symptom onset to diagnosis was 4.3 months (range, 1-12 months). Percutaneous vertebral biopsy established the diagnosis in 16 of the 20 patients who underwent this procedure. CONCLUSION: The annual incidence of spinal tuberculosis remained unchanged throughout the study period and was not influenced by immigration or the AIDS epidemic. The typical patient was an elderly Caucasian woman of French descent. Reactivation of untreated or inadequately treated tuberculosis was probably the main mechanism.
This article was published in Joint Bone Spine
and referenced in Mycobacterial Diseases