Aspergillus spondylitis: case series and literature review.

Aspergillus spondylitis: case series and literature review.

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2020 Aug 22;21(1):572

Authors: Dai G, Wang T, Yin C, Sun Y, Xu D, Wang Z, Luan L, Hou J, Li S

BACKGROUND: Spinal fungal infections, especially spinal Aspergillus infections, are rare in the clinic. Here, we introduce the clinical features, diagnosis, treatment, and prognoses of 6 cases of Aspergillus spondylitis.
METHODS: We retrospectively analysed the complete clinical data of patients with Aspergillus spondylitis treated in our hospital from January 2013 to January 2020.
RESULTS: Aspergillus fumigatus was isolated in 4 cases, and Aspergillus spp. and Aspergillus niger were isolated in 1 case each. All six patients reported varying degrees of focal spinal pain; one patient reported radiating pain, one patient experienced bowel dysfunction and numbness in both lower limbs, and three patients had fever symptoms. One case involved the thoracic spine, one case involved the thoracolumbar junction, and 4 cases involved the lumbar spine. Three patients were already in an immunosuppressed state, and three patients entered an immunosuppressed state after spinal surgery. All six patients were successfully cured, and five required surgery. Of the 5 patients who underwent surgical treatment, 2 had spinal cord compression symptoms, and 3 had spinal instability. At the end of follow-up, 1 patient reported left back pain and 1 patient reported left limb numbness.
CONCLUSION: The clinical manifestations of Aspergillus spondylitis are non-specific, and the diagnosis depends on typical imaging findings and microbiological and histopathological examination results. When there is no spinal instability, spinal nerve compression symptoms, or progressive deterioration, antifungal therapy alone may be considered. If spinal instability, spinal nerve compression, or epidural abscess formation is present, surgery combined with antifungal therapy is recommended.

PMID: 32828133 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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