Tuberculous spondylodiskitis

Case contributed by Dr Vikas Shah


Generally unwell with weight loss, night sweats and back pain.

Patient Data

Age: 35 years
Gender: Male

Lumbar spine x-ray

There is destruction of the left side of the T12 vertebral body, and an ill-defined mass occupying the left side of the abdomen.


CT confirms destruction of the T12 vertebral body, with sclerosis of the existing bone. There is a large collection in the left retroperitoneal space, involving the psoas muscle. The appearances are of an aggressive infection.


MRI confirmed the infection to originate from the T12-L1 intervertebral disc, with an enhancing epidural abscess compressing the spinal cord, as well as the large retroperitoneal abscess - this involved the left psoas muscle and also the left erector spinae muscle. There is also a prevertebral subligamentous component. The left kidney is displaced laterally. The MRI also shows bone edema involving both the T12 and L1 vertebral bodies.

Case Discussion

The x-ray, CT and MRI appearances are typical for tuberculous spondylodiskitis, also known as Pott's disease.

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Case information

rID: 57643
Published: 4th Jan 2018
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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