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Emphysematous osteomyelitis of the spine: A rare case report

 Sahyun Sung  ;  Byung Ho Lee  ;  Jung-Hwan Kim  ;  Yung Park  ;  Joong Won Ha  ;  Seong-Hwan Moon  ;  Hwan-Mo Lee  ;  Ji-Won Kwon 
 MEDICINE, Vol.99(28) : e21113, 2020-07 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Aged ; Emphysema / diagnosis* ; Emphysema / etiology ; Escherichia coli / isolation & purification ; Escherichia coli Infections / complications ; Escherichia coli Infections / diagnosis* ; Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology ; Female ; Humans ; Lumbar Vertebrae* ; Magnetic Resonance Imaging ; Osteomyelitis / complications ; Osteomyelitis / diagnosis* ; Rare Diseases ; Spinal Diseases / complications ; Spinal Diseases / diagnosis* ; Thoracic Vertebrae* ; Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Rationale: Emphysematous osteomyelitis is a rare disease caused by gas-forming bacteria. But only 45 cases have been reported in the literature since then.

Patient concerns: A 72-year-old female presented to our hospital with severe lower back pain that aggravated 4 days ago.

Diagnoses: Computed tomography (CT) revealed intraosseous mottled air in the T12 and L1 vertebral bodies and epidural space. The enhanced T1 and T2 magnetic resonance imaging scans showed heterogeneous signal intensity of vertebral bodies, suggestive of emphysematous osteomyelitis.

Interventions: Surgery was performed to identify culture strains and to remove emphysematous lesions of the vertebral body using extensive transpedicular irrigation.

Outcomes: Escherichia coli (E coli) was identified in the surgical specimen, and intravenous antibiotic therapy was continued with cefotaxime. The patient had a significant decrease in lower back pain after the surgery and the final CT scan before discharge revealed significantly decreased air at T12 and L1 vertebral bodies and no air density in the epidural space.

Lessons: We present a patient diagnosed with emphysematous osteomyelitis in vertebral bodies caused by E coli and successfully treated with surgical intervention.
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Appears in Collections:
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery (정형외과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kwon, Ji-Won(권지원) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4880-5310
Moon, Seong Hwan(문성환)
Lee, Byung Ho(이병호) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7235-4981
Lee, Hwan Mo(이환모) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5405-3832
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