A rare radiological appearance of lumbar tuberculous vertebral osteomyelitis

  • Christiana Savvidou
  • Charikleia Triantopoulou
  • Sofia N. Chatziioannou
  • John Papailiou
  • Dimitrios S. Korres
  • Spiros G. PneumaticosEmail author
Case Report


Spinal tuberculosis (TB), or Pott disease, has classically been recognized as a source of spinal deformities in unindustrialized countries. However, in industrialized countries with more access to sensitive imaging studies, Pott disease may be identified earlier as vertebral osteomyelitis with local complications, such as psoas abscess. In industrialized countries, persons at risk for Pott disease include the immunosuppressed, African Americans and those with a history of prior exposure to TB (Maron et al. Spine 31(16):E561–E564, 2006). This report describes an unusual case with a very interesting radiological appearance of spinal TB. A 30-year-old man presented with dull, progressive back pain. Radiological control showed complete destruction of the L4 vertebral body and partial destruction of the L3, as well as extensive bilateral paraspinal soft tissue infection. The patient underwent open biopsy, complete abscess drainage, lumbar spine stabilization and antituberculous chemotherapy.


Spinal tuberculosis Lumbar spine Psoas abscess CT drainage 


Conflict of interest statement

No funds were received in support of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christiana Savvidou
    • 1
  • Charikleia Triantopoulou
    • 2
  • Sofia N. Chatziioannou
    • 3
  • John Papailiou
    • 4
  • Dimitrios S. Korres
    • 5
  • Spiros G. Pneumaticos
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Β’ Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of Athens Medical School, Agia Olga HospitalAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyAgia Olga HospitalAthensGreece
  3. 3.B’ Department of RadiologyUniversity of Athens Medical School, Attikon General HospitalAthensGreece
  4. 4.Department of Computed TomographyAgia Olga HospitalAthensGreece
  5. 5.C’ Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of Athens Medical School, KAT HospitalAthensGreece

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