Cervical spine tuberculosis in a young adult

Anagnostopoulos, C.; Petsanas, A.; Chamilos, C.; Dafniotidis, A.; Vranos, G.; Spyridakis, F.
April 2013
Scientific Chronicles / Epistimonika Chronika;Apr2013, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p111
Academic Journal
Case Study
Spinal abscesses represent severe infections and require emergent neurosurgical intervention to avoid permanent neurological deficits. Due to the constantly growing incidence of tuberculosis in Greece we present a case of a young adult suffering from a tuberculous abscess of the cervical spine with severe neurological deficit. Our case is a 31- year- old Pakistani citizen who presented with upper and lower extremity weakness bilaterally, hypesthesia below the A5 dermotome and tetraspasticity, progressively worsening for the past two months. The neuroradiological examination of the cervical spine showed osteolytic lesions of the vertebral bodies from A3 to T2 (with collapsed A7) and a prevertebral abscess from A3 to A7, extending to the epidural space from A4 to A7. He underwent surgical drainage via anterior approach and began treatment with antituberculosis medication. The cultures were positive for acid-fast bacilli and the molecular analysis showed that it was a Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain. The patient showed marked clinical improvement of his myelopathy and muscle weakness during the following 2 months. The treatment of a tuberculous abscess should be surgical drainage and antituberculosis medication for at least nine months.


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