Tuberculous spondylitis after percutaneous vertebroplasty: A case series of 9 cases

Po Ju Lai, Jen Chung Liao*, Lih Hui Chen, Po Liang Lai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Percutaneous vertebroplasty has become the treatment of choice for compression fractures. Although the incidence is low, infection after vertebroplasty is a serious complication. The pathogens most often responsible for infection are bacteria. Meanwhile, mycobacterium tuberculosis-induced infection is extremely rare. In this study, we reported our treatment experience with 9 cases of tuberculous spondylitis after vertebroplasty. Methods: Between January 2001 and December 2015, 5749 patients underwent vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty in our department. Nine cases developed tuberculous spondylitis after vertebroplasty (0.16%). Data on clinical history, laboratory examinations, image, treatment and outcomes were examined. Results: One male and 8 female patients with a mean age of 75.1 years developed tuberculous spondylitis after vertebroplasty. 5 patients had a history of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). Revision surgeries were performed from 5 days to 1124 days after vertebroplasty. Seven patients underwent anterior debridement and fusion with or without posterior instrumentation, and 2 cases received posterior decompression and instrumentation only. After operation, the diagnosis of tuberculous spondylitis was confirmed by TB polymerase chain reaction (TB-PCR) or mycobacteria culture. Mean follow-up period after revision surgery was 36.8 months. At the end of follow-up, 1 patient with paraplegia had passed away, 2 needed a wheel chair, 4 required a walker and 2 were able to walk unassisted. Conclusions: Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure but still retains some possibility of complications, including TB infection. Patients with a history of pulmonary TB or any elevation of infection parameters should be reviewed carefully to avoid infective complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-292
Number of pages8
JournalBiomedical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 08 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Chang Gung University


  • Mycobacteria tuberculosis
  • Spine infection
  • Vertebroplasty


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