Spinal toxoplasmic arachnoiditis associated with osteoid formation: a rare presentation of toxoplasmosis

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2001 Aug 1;26(15):1726-8. doi: 10.1097/00007632-200108010-00019.


Study design: An extremely rare presentation of an isolated spinal toxoplasmic arachnoiditis is described.

Objective: To draw attention to the fact that spinal arachnoid membranes may be a potential reservoir for Toxoplasma gondii.

Summary of background data: Central nervous system toxoplasmosis is a common manifestation in patients who are immunodeficient. Reports on the spinal toxoplasmosis are rare and focused on spinal cord involvement.

Methods: An adult patient presented with symptoms of spastic paraparesis that had begun 13 years before admission. Thoracic spinal magnetic resonance imaging showed small lesions in posterior subarachnoid space at Th7-Th8. A Th7-Th8 laminectomy was performed. Intradural-extramedullary lesions were excised.

Results: Clinical, immunologic, and pathologic examinations showed adhesive spinal arachnoiditis associated with osteoid formation caused by past toxoplasmic infection. There was no impairment of the immunologic defense system.

Conclusion: Where no causative factor is found in serious spinal adhesive arachnoiditis, the possibility of spinal toxoplasmosis should also be investigated.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Arachnoiditis / complications
  • Arachnoiditis / diagnosis*
  • Arachnoiditis / parasitology
  • Calcinosis / etiology
  • Calcinosis / parasitology
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / complications
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / diagnosis*
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / parasitology
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / complications
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / parasitology
  • Toxoplasma / growth & development
  • Toxoplasma / isolation & purification
  • Toxoplasmosis / complications
  • Toxoplasmosis / diagnosis*