Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

A Rare Case of Atypical Mycobacterium-Associated Spinal Cord Compression in an HIV-AIDS Patient

Matt, Laurie MD, MPH; Calvey, Colleen MD; Muakkassa, Kamel MD; Speakman, Eric MD; Haller, Nairmeen PhD; Watkins, David MD

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: May 2013 - Volume 21 - Issue 3 - p 196–200
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e31826baaa2
Case Reports

We present a case of a patient with a rare case of atraumatic Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex lumbar osteomyelitis and epidural abscess with acute spinal cord compression. She presented to the emergency room with a 2-month history of progressive, bilateral hip and leg pain, with progression to an inability to ambulate. A magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine revealed an epidural mass at L1 and associated compression of the conus medullaris. The patient was taken for decompression of the lumbar mass via a T12–L1 laminectomy. Approximately 6 weeks later, the final culture yielded M. avium-intracellulare complex epidural abscess. Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex–associated musculoskeletal infection is extremely rare, and to date, we have identified only 8 other cases in the literature. This case presentation will add to existing literature and highlight the continued need to consider atypical mycobacterial infection as a cause of unremitting back pain in immunocompromised individuals.

From the Department of Medicine, Akron General Medical Center, Akron; and Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, OH.

Correspondence to: Laurie Matt, MD, MPH, Department of Medicine, Akron General Medical Center, Akron General Medical Center, 400 Wabash Ave, Akron, OH 44307. E-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.