Home About Journal AHEAD OF PRINT Current Issue Back Issues Instructions Submission Search Subscribe Blog    

Users Online: 1661 
Print this page  Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size 
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 46  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 171-178

Tuberculosis spine: Therapeutically refractory disease

1 Department of Orthopaedics, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Scientist 'E' Department of Radiology, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Anil K Jain
Department of Orthopaedics, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, Delhi
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.93685

Rights and Permissions

Background: India ranks second amongst the high-burden multi drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) countries, with an estimated incidence of 2.3% MDR-TB cases amongst the new cases and 17.2% amongst the previously treated cases. The diagnosis and treatment protocol for MDR-TB of the spine are not clearly established. We report outcome of a series of 15 cases of TB spine who were suspected to be therapeutically refractory cases (MDR-TB) on the basis of clinicoradiological failures of initial treatment. Materials and Methods: Fifteen cases of TB spine from C2 to L5 spine were suspected to be the cases of MDR-TB (therapeutically refractory cases) on the basis of failures of adequate clinicoradiological healing response at 5 months or more on antitubercular treatment (ATT). None of the patient was immunocompromised. Thirteen out of 15 patients had tissue samples sent for histopathology, culture and sensitivity, smear, BACTEC, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). All patients were put on second line ATT and followed up fortnightly with regular liver and kidney function tests, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and plain X-ray. Healing was documented as subjective improvement of symptoms, reduction in ESR, and observations on contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) such as resolution of marrow edema, fatty replacement of bone marrow and resolution of abscesses. Ambiguous MRI observations in a few patients were resolved on positron emission tomography (PET) scan. Patients were monitored continuously for 2 years after stopping ATT. Results: We could demonstrate a positive culture in three cases. Two of them had multi drug resistance. We could achieve healing status in 13 out of 14 patients after starting second line drugs, one patient is still on treatment while other patient with no drug resistance is responding well on ATT. Conclusions: The suspicion of therapeutically refractory case is of paramount importance. Once suspected, surgery to procure tissue for diagnosis and culture is to be undertaken. The demonstration of drug resistance on culture may not be achieved in all TB spine cases and empiric drug regimen for MDR-TB is to be started. We have achieved the healed status with immunomodulation and second line ATT. The length of treatment needs to be monitored with MRI and PET scan.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded579    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 6    

Recommend this journal