Granulomatous infective spondylitis in a patient presenting with progressive difficulty in walking: the differential between tuberculosis and brucellosis
SourceBMJ case reports
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We report a case of infectious spondylitis in a 52-year-old woman who presented with progressive difficulty in walking. The patient had a 2-month long history of neurological symptoms, which progressed rapidly to paraplegia, following her admission. Imaging studies demonstrated the presence of vertebral lesions as well as additional tissue with inflammatory elements in the spinal canal, which caused a mass effect. In combination with the presence of increased cells and protein in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the differential was steered towards causes of infectious spondylitis, primarily tuberculosis. However, brucellosis was also considered, as it is endemic in our area. Prompt surgical decompression produced biopsy samples, which confirmed the presence of granulomatous inflammation. The patient was started on an empiric regimen covering both for tuberculosis and brucellosis, and gradually regained full mobility in her lower limbs. The differential of infectious spondylitis is discussed, with an emphasis on the differentiation between tuberculosis and brucellosis.