Journal Article

Brucellar Spondylitis: Review of 35 Cases and Literature Survey

Javier Solera, Elena Lozano, Elisa Martínez-Alfaro, Alfredo Espinosa, María Luisa Castillejos and Lorenzo Abad

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 29, issue 6, pages 1440-1449
Published in print December 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/313524
Brucellar Spondylitis: Review of 35 Cases and Literature Survey

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Thirty-five patients aged 14–74 years (average, 54 years) who had brucellar spondylitis were treated between January 1991 and December 1997. The time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis of spondylitis ranged from 1 week to 8 months (median, 9 weeks). Back or neck pain (100% of patients), fever (66%), and constitutional symptoms (57%) were the most common symptoms. Cultures of blood specimens from 26 patients (74%) were positive for Brucella melitensis. The duration of antimicrobial therapy (median, 120 days; range, 45–535 days) varied according to clinical response and the presence of epidural and paravertebral masses. One of the 35 patients underwent surgical treatment of a spinal epidural abscess. Therapy failed for 9 patients (26%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 12%–43%), and 5 (14%; 95% CI, 5%–30%) had a relapse. There were no deaths or severe sequelae in this study. Brucellar spondylitis causes considerable suffering and absenteeism from work, but long-term clinical responses are favorable.

Journal Article.  5480 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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