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Fungal spondylodiscitis: imaging findings and brief review of the literature


A 57-year-old man was admitted to our department reporting persistent low back and leg pain; this patient had undergone chemotherapy 1 year earlier for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). During chemotherapy, he exhibited bilateral pneumonia due to Candida tropicalis, which was treated by specific antibiotic therapy, and septicaemia by Enterococcus faecalis. MRI showed the presence of spondylodiscitis. A CT-guided needle biopsy was performed and the culture from the excised material tested positive for C. tropicalis. We report a rare case of spondylodiscitis by C. tropicalis in a patient treated for AML, which, in turn, was followed by sepsis from E. faecalis and C. tropicalis. Without adequate treatment, the disease is progressive, and leads to vertebral destruction with secondary kyphosis and neural or spinal cord compression. Although MRI has high sensitivity in the diagnosis of spondylodiscitis, open or needle biopsy allows to identify the aetiology.

  • infections
  • malignant disease and immunosuppression
  • orthopaedics
  • radiology

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