Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Scand J Infect Dis. 2001;33(7):527-32.

Vertebral osteomyelitis in Göteborg, Sweden: a retrospective study of patients during 1990-95.

Author information

  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases Sahlgrenska University Hospital Ostra, Göteborg, Sweden.


Vertebral osteomyelitis (VO) is a rare condition and the diagnosis is often overlooked initially. Delay in diagnosis may result in vertebral destruction or perforation of the spinal canal. We suggest diagnostic criteria in order to simplify the diagnosis and classification of VO. Medical records of 58 patients with VO from Göteborg during the years 1990-95 were studied retrospectively. The incidence, clinical presentation, microbiology and treatment of VO were evaluated. The median age at the time of admission was 59 y (range 13-83 y) and the male:female ratio was 1.6:1. The incidence was 2.2/100,000 inhabitants/y. Sixty-four percent of the patients were natives of Sweden. The patients were classified as definite (67%), probable (26%) and possible (7%) VO. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common infective agent (34%), followed by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (27%). The most common risk factors included recent or current infections, immunosuppressive diseases and previous surgery. CRP and ESR were elevated in 82% and 88% respectively and plain X-ray changes indicating VO were found in 56% of the patients. Radiological changes were found in 34/44 (77%) computerized tomography scans and 10/13 (77%) magnetic resonance imaging examinations. The median duration of intravenous and oral antibiotic treatment were 10 and 179 d respectively. A delay of > I month from the onset of symptoms until diagnosis was found in 38% of the patients. This indicates the need for a standardized protocol for diagnosing VO. In this paper we suggest diagnostic criteria, which have not previously been available.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk