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July 1961

Disseminated Nocardiosis Involving Spinal Cord: Case Report

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Internal Medicine and of Pathology, Oklahoma University Medical Center.; Special Research Fellow, National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Disease, USPHS, Oklahoma City (Dr. Welsh).

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(1):73-79. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620070075009

The purpose of this report is to present a case of nocardiosis involving not only the lung, brain, and subcutaneous tissues, but also the spinal cord. To our knowledge, only one other case of nocardiosis with a spinal cord abscess has been reported,1 and its authenticity has been questioned.2

Report of Case  This 38-year-old white housewife had been well until the middle of February, 1957, when she developed a productive cough, fever, and night sweats. On March 30, 1957, a family physician referred her to a tuberculosis sanitarium because of her history and chest x-ray findings. There she was found to have a pulmonary infiltrate involving the upper portion of the right lung. Sputum smears and skin tests for tuberculosis were negative. The pulmonary infiltrate and cough did not change although she was given penicillin and tetracycline. During the last week of April, she noticed the appearance of