IJNS 2014; 03(02): 075-085
DOI: 10.4103/2277-9167.138891
Case Report
Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.

Pediatric spinal infections

Raj Kumar
1  SGPGIMS, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2  All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
Rajnish Arora
2  All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
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Publication Date:
18 January 2017 (online)


The infections of the spinal axis in children are rare when compared with adults. They encompass a large spectrum of diseases ranging from relatively benign diskitis to spinal osteomyleitis and to the rapidly progressive, rare, and potentially devastating spinal epidural, subdural, and intramedullary spinal cord infections. We present a comprehensive review of the literature pertaining to these uncommon entities, in light of our experience from northern India. The most prevalent pediatric spinal infection in Indian scenario is tuberculosis, where an extradural involvement is more common than intradural. The craniovertebral junction is not an uncommon site of involvement in children of our milieu. The majority of pyogenic infections of pediatric spine are associated with congenital neuro-ectodermal defects such as congenital dermal sinus. The clinico-radiological findings of various spinal infections commonly overlap. Hence the endemicity of certain pathogens should be given due consideration, while considering the differential diagnosis. However, early suspicion, rapid diagnosis, and prompt treatment are the key factors in avoiding neurological morbidity and deformity in a growing child.