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Case Rep Med. 2015;2015:524241. doi: 10.1155/2015/524241. Epub 2015 Jul 15.

First Reported Case of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Vertebral Osteomyelitis with Multiple Spinal and Paraspinal Abscesses Associated with Acupuncture.

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1
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Queens Hospital Center, 82-68 164th Street, Queens, NY 11432, USA.
2
Department of Ambulatory Care Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Queens Hospital Center, 82-68 164th Street, Queens, NY 11432, USA.

Abstract

Acupuncture is one of the oldest medical procedures in the world and originated in China about 2,000 years ago. Acupuncture is a form of complementary medicine and has gained popularity worldwide in the last few decades. It is mainly used for the treatment of chronic pain. Acupuncture is usually considered a safe procedure but has been reported to cause serious complications including death. It has been associated with transmission of many viruses and bacteria. Two cases of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus have been reported recently following acupuncture therapy. We are reporting a case of a 57-year-old Korean female who developed vertebral osteomyelitis and intraspinal and paraspinal abscesses as a complication of acupuncture. Blood cultures, skin lesion culture, and body fluid culture yielded Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Good anatomical and medical knowledge, good hygiene standards, and proper acupuncture techniques should be followed to prevent the complications. Acupuncturists should consistently review the infection control guidelines to acupuncture. This case should raise awareness of such condition and hazards of presumably benign procedures such as acupuncture.

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