How is spondylodiscitis screened for in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy (USpA)?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence H Brent, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Radiologic evidence of spondylodiscitis varies with the disease progression but can include the following [77, 79] :

  • Destructive foci throughout the discovertebral junction
  • Bony sclerosis on both sides of the affected disc level
  • Widening or narrowing of the disc space
  • Osteolysis of the vertebral bodies

Plain radiographs are not always sufficient to identify spondylodiscitis. CT scans, MRI, and bone scans are often helpful in confirming the diagnosis.

The prognosis is generally good with conservative therapy, including rest, administration of NSAIDs, and physical therapy. Surgical treatment is indicated only in cases where there is evidence of spinal instability or neurologic injury.


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