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July 1957

Spontaneous Fractures in Tuberculous Meningitis

Author Affiliations

Athens, Greece

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;94(1):17-19. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.04030020019004

Spontaneous fractures of the sternum have been described in adult patients with tuberculosis.1 No evidence of intrinsic bone disease has been found and no disturbance of calcium or phosphorus metabolism was noted in these cases.

Furthermore, the apparent high incidence of rib fractures in tuberculous patients2 raises the question of an effect of the infection on bony structures.

However, up to now patients with tuberculosis are not considered particularly liable to decalcification, except insofar as unusually prolonged bed rest may lead to demineralization.

The scope of this paper is to report on four patients, all of them infants, who during their treatment for tuberculous meningitis developed spontaneous fractures of the lower extremities without any evidence of localized tuberculous lesions on the areas of the fractures.

We do not consider the factor of bed rest alone as constituting a satisfactory explanation for these fractures.

Report of Cases  Case 1.—A