Volume 34, Issue 3, September 2023

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Mediterr J Rheumatol 2023;34(2):220-8
Spinal Tuberculosis: Features and Early Predictive Factors of Poor Outcomes
Authors Information
1Rheumatology Department,  Rabta Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia
2Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, University Tunis el Manar, Tunis, Tunisia
3Research Unit LR 05 SP 01, La Rabta hospital
S Boussaid

Introduction: Tuberculosis is still endemic in Tunisia. Among musculoskeletal involvement, spinal tuberculosis (STB) or «Pott’s Disease» is the most common and can lead to serious neurological complications. The purpose of our study was to focus on STB features (clinical, biological, and radiological) and to identify factors associated with early unfavorable outcomes. Methods: This was a monocentric retrospective study, over a period of 20 years (2000-2020). Only patients treated appropriately were included. Patients' informations were noted. We defined the favorable outcome criterion as weight gain, apyrexia, improvement of the general state, relief of pain, improvement in the classic inflammatory markers (CRP), and absence of vertebral deformities, neurological impairment, or sepsis. The outcome was considered unfavorable otherwise. Results: Our study involved 52 patients. Their average age was 55.21 years±17.79. The average symptom duration was 8.9 months±6.54. Spinal pain was the most common functional sign (90.4%) often inflammatory. Physical signs were dominated by segmental spinal stiffness (71.2%). Spinal magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 38 patients. The disco-vertebral biopsy puncture confirmed the diagnosis in 15 cases. All patients received anti-tuberculosis treatments with an average duration of 10.02±1.97months. The outcome at one month of follow-up was favorable in 32 cases. Poor prognosis factors were normochromic normocytic anaemia (p=0.018), initial lymphocytosis (p=0.048), and fever (p=0.01). However, vertebral fracture at standard X-ray was predictive of favorable outcome (p=0.001). Conclusion: STB is a frequent condition that needs to be treated rapidly. Poor prognosis factors were identified in this study such as normocytic normochromic anemia, initial lymphocytosis, and fever at baseline. 

Cite this article as: Boussaid S, M’rabet M, Rekik S, Jammali S, Rahmouni S, Zouaoui K, Sahli H, Elleuch M. Spinal Tuberculosis: Features and Early Predictive Factors of Poor Outcomes. Mediterr J Rheumatol 2023;34(2):220-8.

Article Submitted: 27 May 2022; Revised Form: 27 July 2022; Article Accepted: 12 Aug 2022; Available Online: 30 Jun 2023


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