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Radiother Oncol. 2001 Jun;59(3):307-9.

Spondylodiscitis in patients with spinal cord compression: a possible pitfall in radiation oncology.

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1
Department of Radiation Oncology, Hannover Medical University, Carl-Neuberg-Str 1, D-30625, Hannover, Germany.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

In patients presented for spinal irradiation it may be difficult to distinguish between malignant and benign lesions if only plain X-rays and computed tomography (CT)-scans are available. Spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be of great diagnostic value.

METHODS:

From 11/1995 to 05/2000 447 patients were presented for spinal irradiation, 264 beyond regular operating hours. At presentation no spinal MRI was available in 170/447 and 132/264 patients.

RESULTS:

After spinal MRI, diagnosis was changed from vertebral metastases to spondylodiscitis in 10/170 and 8/132 patients. Six of these patients were already known as cancer patients.

CONCLUSION:

In patients presented for spinal irradiation spondylodiscitis is not very uncommon. If there is any doubt about metastatic disease as the cause for spinal cord compression a spinal MRI has to be demanded, even beyond regular operating hours.

PMID:
11369072
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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