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Brucellar and Tuberculous Spondylitis in 87 Adult Patients: A Descriptive and Comparative Case Series

Kurtaran, Behice MD*; Sarpel, Tunay MD†; Tasova, Yesim MD*; Candevir, Aslihan MD*; Saltoglu, Nese MD*; Inal, Ayse Seza MD*; Aksu, Hasan Salih Zeki MD*

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice:
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e318168ffb3
Original Articles

Our aim was to compare the clinical and evaluative features of a series of cases with spondylitis of the 2 most frequent etiologies, brucellosis and tuberculosis, in Turkey.

Of the 87 patients with spondylitis, 44 had brucellosis and 43 had tuberculosis. Patients with tuberculosis were more likely to have a history of pulmonary disease, longer time to diagnosis, and higher erythrocyte sedimentation rates and C-reactive protein levels. Fever, night sweating, and arthralgia were more frequent complaints in brucellosis, whereas weakness and neurological involvement were in tuberculous spondylitis. Vertebral destruction and compression, kyphosis, paraspinal masses, and cord compression were more frequent in tuberculosis. Sacroiliitis and discitis were significantly associated with brucellosis. Need for surgical treatment, unfavorable outcome, and death were more common in tuberculosis.

In countries with high prevalence of both diseases, documented history, clinical presentation, laboratory and histological examination, and radiographic imaging can be highly suggestive and sufficient for empirical treatment.

Author Information

Departments of *Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and †Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Çukurova University Medical School, Adana, Turkey.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Behice Kurtaran, MD, Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Çukurova University, 01330 Adana, Turkey. E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.