Pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis in a breast cancer patient: report of a case
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We herein report a rare case of pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis (PVO) coexisting with breast carcinoma. A 71-year-old female presented with neck pain without fever. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed suspected metastatic lesions in her neck (C7 and Th1). Fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) showed increased FDG uptake in the neck spines and in the left breast. A core needle biopsy of the left breast revealed the presence of invasive ductal carcinoma. Our first tentative diagnosis of the patient was left breast carcinoma with bone metastases, and first-line endocrine therapy was started. However, surgical intervention for the spines had to be considered, because her neurological symptoms progressed. A repeated MRI scan showed a narrowing of the disc space and fluid accumulation around the vertebrae. This suggested the presence of PVO rather than metastases. Surgery confirmed the presence of PVO in C7 and Th1, and a culture of the abscess yielded Escherichia coli. The patient’s neurological symptoms dramatically improved after surgery. Breast conserving surgery was performed 3 months after the surgery for PVO. The patient is well and has no clinical evidence of disease 18 months after the breast conserving surgery. PVO is rare, but should be included in the differential diagnosis in patients presenting with early breast carcinoma.
KeywordsPyogenic osteomyelitis Bone metastasis Breast cancer
Conflict of interest
Hisamitsu Zaha and co-authors have no conflict of interest.
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