Spinal epidural abscess in brucellosis

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Abstract

Involvement of the skeletal system is a common complication of brucellosis. However, muscle involvement or paraspinal abscess formation are rare complications. Paraspinal abscess usually develops secondary to spondylitis. A case is reported here of a 33-year-old woman with symptoms of night sweats, fever and low back pain. Rose-Bengal test for brucellosis was positive and Brucella standard tube agglutination test was positive at a titre of 1/160. The diagnosis was made on MRI. The patient was treated with doxycycline and rifampin daily for 16 weeks. On day 14 of treatment, decline was observed in the patient’s symptoms. In the presence of inflammatory lower back pain and fever, brucellosis should be considered particularly in the endemic areas. Furthermore, tuberculosis should be remembered in the differential diagnosis when a spinal epidural abscess is determined.

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