MANIFESTATIONS OF POTT'S DISEASE IN THE HEAD AND NECK


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Abstract

Tuberculosis (TB) of the spine, or Pott's disease, is a rarely encountered clinical disorder in the United States today. However, Pott's disease should be strongly suspected in a person who presents with a destructive lesion of the spine involving adjacent vertebrae or a retropharyngeal mass which extends across the midline. The most common presenting signs and symptoms are pain and spinal deformity. The PPD skin test is usually positive, but unlike TB of the larynx, the chest roentgenogram is almost always negative. Diagnosis may be confirmed by needle aspiration or incisional biopsy and culture.The otolaryngologic literature has not previously addressed this clinical entity, thus, our experience with a patient with a retropharyngeal mass and quadraplegia diagnosed as Pott's disease will be presented. Subsequent medical therapy, stabilization, and odontoidectomy resulted in resolution of his neurological deficit. The incidence, pathogenesis, clinical features, and management of Pott's disease will be discussed.

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