Imaging features of musculoskeletal brucellosis

Radiographics. 1994 Mar;14(2):333-48. doi: 10.1148/radiographics.14.2.8190957.


Brucellosis is endemic in certain parts of the world. Musculoskeletal involvement is the most common complication of brucellosis, and the spine is most frequently affected. Between November 1985 and March 1993, 334 patients with radiologically proved musculoskeletal brucellosis were seen. Involvement of the spine was either focal or diffuse, with a predilection to the lumbar region. Erosions and sclerosis in vertebral end plates, changes of inflammation at scintigraphy or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and intact disks were hallmarks of the focal form. Osteomyelitis of neighboring vertebrae, involvement of the intervening disk, and moderate epidural extension were features of diffuse brucellar spondylitis. The great majority of joints with scintigraphic evidence of disease demonstrated normal radiographic findings. Evidence of osteomyelitis or destructive arthritis was encountered in only a few cases. Although radiography is sufficient for demonstrating focal brucellosis, MR imaging is better for assessing diffuse disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Infectious / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Infectious / diagnostic imaging
  • Brucellosis / diagnosis*
  • Brucellosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc / diagnostic imaging
  • Intervertebral Disc / pathology
  • Joint Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Joint Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Joint Diseases / microbiology*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Muscular Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Muscular Diseases / microbiology*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Diseases / microbiology*
  • Spondylitis / diagnosis
  • Spondylitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Spondylitis / microbiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed