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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 1996 Aug;25(8):1655-1660. Korean. Original Article.
Lee KS , Doh JW , Bae HG , Yun IG .
Department of Neurosurgery, Soonchunhyang University Chonan Hospital, Chonan, Korea.

Although the prevalence of infectious disorders has been decreased, tuberculous infections are still common in this country. Therefore epidemiological data for the correct diagnosis of some spinal infections and proper selection of susceptible antibiotics are necessary. We presented a series of 40 patients with primary spinal infection dated from January 1990 to December 1994. Tuberculosis was the most common infection constituting 85% of this series, while pyogenic infection constituted only 10%, and primary discitis shared 5%. In a half of the tuberculous spondylitis, there were histories of previous tuberculosis except the vertebrae. We could identify the pathogenic organisms in only 47.5% o the cases(in 4 of 6 pyogenic infection and 15 of 34 tuberculous infection). Since it is difficult to differentiate the pyogenic and tuberculous infections by clinical or radiological features alone, some pyogenic infections might have been regarded as tuberculous, although the pyogenic spinal infections are rare. Nevertheless the tuberculous spinal infection outnumbered pyogenic ones in this country, which is similar to the patterns of other third-world countries. Therefore, correct identification of the microbial agent is important not only for the proper treatment but also to evaluate the patients of primary spinal infections in this country.

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