Unusual forms of spinal tuberculosis

du Plessis J. ; Andronikou S. ; Theron S. ; Wieselthaler N. ; Hayes M. (2008)


Objective: The incidence of tuberculosis (TB) is increasing in both developing and developed worlds, and children, in particular, represent a high-risk group for acquiring the disease. TB of the central nervous system is the most severe, life-threatening form of TB in infants and children. Approximately 10% of all patients with TB have central nervous system involvement. Materials and methods: We have selected four pediatric cases of unusual spinal TB that presented to our institution during the last 5 years. These include TB arachnoiditis, intramedullary spinal cord tuberculoma, TB spondylitis of the odontoid peg, and one child with tuberculous extradural abscess. Conclusion: TB may involve the intramedullary, extramedullary intrathecal compartment, or the extrathecal vertebral compartment in the form of an arachnoiditis, abscess, and spondylitis, respectively, often with unusual imaging presentations. © Springer-Verlag 2007.

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