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J Korean Soc Radiol. 2015 Dec;73(6):408-412. English. Case Report. https://doi.org/10.3348/jksr.2015.73.6.408
Lee CM , Lee S , Bae J .
Department of Radiology, Hanyang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea. radsh@medimail.co.kr
Department of Pathology, National Police Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Abstract

Differential diagnosis between spinal metastasis and infectious spondylodiscitis is one of the occasional challenges in daily clinical practice. We encountered an unusual case of spinal metastasis in a 75-year-old female breast cancer patient that mimicked infectious spondylodiscitis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed diffuse bone marrow infiltrations with paraspinal soft tissue infiltrative changes in 5 contiguous cervical vertebrae without significant compression fracture or cortical destruction. These MRI findings made it difficult to differentiate between spinal metastasis and infectious spondylodiscitis. Infectious spondylodiscitis such as tuberculous spondylodiscitis was regarded as the more appropriate diagnosis due to the continuous involvement of > 5 cervical vertebrae. The patient's clinical presentation also supported the presumptive diagnosis of infectious spondylodiscitis rather than spinal metastasis. Intravenous antibiotics were administered, but clinical symptoms worsened despite treatment. After pathologic confirmation by computed tomography-guided biopsy, we were able to confirm a final diagnosis of spinal metastasis.

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