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Brucellar spondylitis: MRI findings


This study was carried out to identify the distinguishing features of brucellosis on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI examinations were performed in 14 patients with spinal brucellosis. A 1-T Magnetom (Erlangen, Siemens) was used to obtain T1-weighted (TR/TE 500/30) and T2-weighted (TR/TE 2000/80/20) spin echo sequences, in both sagittal and axial planes. Thirty-three percent of the vertebrae and 18 levels of disc were involved in the 14 brucellar spondylitis cases. Eleven patients (79.8%) with discitis revealed anterior superior vertebral body involvement. Fourteen (77.7%) of the levels with discitis displayed soft tissue swelling without presence of abscess formation. Seven facet joints of five patients with discitis displayed signal increase after contrast enhancement. Vertebral body signal changes without morphologic changes marked signal increase in the intervertebral disc on T2-weighted and contrast-enhanced sequences, and soft tissue involvement without abscess formation can be accepted as specific MRI features of brucellar spondylitis. The facet joint signal changes following contrast enhancement is another MRI sign of spinal brucellosis, which has not been mentioned so far.

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Özaksoy, D., Yücesoy, K., Yücesoy, M. et al. Brucellar spondylitis: MRI findings. Eur Spine J 10, 529–533 (2001).

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  • Brucellosis Facet joint MRI Spondylitis