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July 1961

Vertebral Osteomyelitis and Urinary-Tract Infection

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Medicine and Radiology, Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh.; Assistant Resident, Department of Internal Medicine; present address: Veterans Administration Hospital, Coral Gables, Fla. (Dr. Sierra). Director of Medical Education (Dr. Luparello), and Associate Radiologist (Dr. Lewin), Mercy Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(1):128-131. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620070130017

Osteomyelitis of the vertebral column following urinary tract infection is an uncommon clinical syndrome. To the best of our knowledge, since Carson's original report1 in 1931, only 48 additional cases have been reported,2-21 the majority of these cases followed urinary-tract instrumentation or other operative procedures. In approximately 25% of the cases, the infection occurred spontaneously.

Following urinary-tract infection, persistent back pain, unexplained pleuritic and abdominal pain, and signs of meningeal irritation should alert the physician to the possible development of spinal osteomyelitis. The purpose of this communication is to report an additional case, again illustrating the variable clinical mainfestations of this interesting syndrome.

Report of Case  A 57-year-old Negro man entered Mercy Hospital for the first time on April 2, 1959, complaining of chills, fever, and back pain. The patient gave a long history of urethral stricture, and had undergone dilatation 4 days prior to admission. Twenty-four hours

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