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June 8, 1963

Infections of Intervertebral Disk

JAMA. 1963;184(10):837. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700230137026

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To the Editor:  —The paper on "Infections of the Intervertebral Disk in Children" by Drs. Milone, Bianco, and Ivins from the Mayo Clinic (JAMA181:1029 [Sept 22] 1962) was of great interest to me. As you may know, but evidently they did not, we recently published a series of what appeared to be identical cases of disk disease in children, in which no bacteriological or viral etiologic agents could be identified. We were convinced, as others have been, that this is a nonspecific response to trauma or inflammation, and in a goodly number of these no organisms are present nor are they associated with infectious lesions elsewhere in the body. It is my opinion that the Staphylococcus aureus organisms identified in the cases listed by these authors were incidental rather than etiological.Flemming, Smith, and Mayer all listed patients who had clinical bacteriological disease. The cases of Saenger and

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