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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pott's disease. A resurgent challenge to the thoracic surgeon.

Nineteen patients were treated at the Los Angeles County Harbor/UCLA Medical Center between 1971 and 1986 for tuberculosis of the spine. Fourteen were immigrants, a high-risk group. A high index of suspicion is required for Pott's disease, which occurs in fewer than 1 percent of patients with tuberculosis, often presents with nonspecific symptoms, and may result in permanent deformity or neurologic impairment. CT scan, the most useful diagnostic test, showed abnormal results in 11 of 11 patients. MRI, a newer modality, may provide even more information. Eight patients required operation in addition to antimicrobial therapy. Four had lesions between T3 and T10, where the spinal canal is narrow, of whom three (75 percent had neurologic involvement. All four underwent anterior approach (thoracotomy) for decompression, debridement, and spinal fusion. Fifteen had lesions between T11 and S2. Three (20 percent) had neurologic involvement but responded to medical treatment alone. Four underwent drainage of abscess or spinal fusion for deformity. Combined surgical and medical treatment gave excellent results in this series.[1]


  1. Pott's disease. A resurgent challenge to the thoracic surgeon. Omari, B., Robertson, J.M., Nelson, R.J., Chiu, L.C. Chest (1989) [Pubmed]
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