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Eur Radiol. 1999;9(6):1066-77.

Spinal infection.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Imaging and the Institute of Orthopaedics, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 7AG, England.


Spinal infection is a significant cause of morbidity. Despite advances in antibiotic treatment regimens, the incidence is not decreasing due at least in part to an increase in 'at-risk' populations, namely the elderly and the immunocompromised. Prompt diagnosis is greatly facilitated by early and appropriate imaging techniques together with microbiological assessment following culture from blood, needle aspirate and biopsy material. This article gives an overview of imaging of spinal infection with an emphasis on MR imaging, which has greatly contributed to early diagnosis, thus allowing implementation of timely appropriate treatment.

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