Discitis after discography

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1988 Dec;13(12):1352-4. doi: 10.1097/00007632-198812000-00004.


A series of nine patients with post-discography discitis were evaluated to help delineate the clinical course. The most consistent sign was the marked exacerbation of neck or back pain. This then was followed by an elevated sedimentation rate at an average of 20 days, followed by a positive bone scan at an average of 33 days. Of note is that seven patients initially had negative bone scans at an average of 18 days. Five out of nine patients had changes on plain roentgenograms between 14 and 51 days after discography. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed in six patients; two of these patients were scanned twice. Three scans were negative and five were positive (2 patients initially had negative scans that later became positive). The course of lumbar discitis ranged from 8 to 11 weeks, and cervical discitis from 6 to 7 weeks, with the latter usually resulting in spontaneous fusion.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • Discitis / blood
  • Discitis / diagnosis
  • Discitis / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Spinal
  • Intervertebral Disc / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intervertebral Disc / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Radiography