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Extended indications of percutaneous endoscopic lavage and drainage for the treatment of lumbar infectious spondylitis.

Yang, Shih-Chieh; Chen, Wen-Jer; Chen, Hung-Shu; Kao, Yu-Hsien; Yu, Shang-Won; Tu, Yuan-Kun.
Eur Spine J; 23(4): 846-53, 2014 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24448892


The treatment of spinal infection remains a challenge for spinal surgeons because of the variable presentations and complicated course. The diagnostic and therapeutic value of percutaneous endoscopic lavage and drainage (PELD) has been proved in some recent studies. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of PELD in patients with advanced infectious spondylitis which may traditionally require open surgery.


We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 21 patients who underwent PELD to treat their advanced lumbar infectious spondylitis. Patients with severe infection resulting in significant neurological deficit and mechanical instability were excluded from the PELD procedure, which was only used on selected patients with less severe disease. The 21 patients were categorized into three groups based on their past history, clinical presentation, and imaging studies: those with paraspinal abscesses, postoperative recurrent infection, and multilevel infection. Clinical outcomes were assessed by careful physical examination, Odom's criteria, regular serologic testing, and imaging studies to determine whether continued conservative treatment or surgical intervention was necessary.


Causative bacteria were identified in 19 (90.5%) of 21 biopsy specimens. Appropriate parenteral antibiotics for the predominant pathogen isolated from the infected tissue biopsy cultures were prescribed for the patients. All patients reported satisfactory recovery and relief of back pain, except three with multilevel infections who underwent anterior debridement and fusion within 2 weeks after treatment with PELD. The overall infection control rate was 86%. One patient with epidural abscess and spondylolytic spondylolisthesis of the L5-S1 received instrumented fusion surgery due to mechanical instability 5 months later. No surgery-related major complications were found, except 2 patients who had transient paraesthesia in the affected lumbar segment.


PELD was successful in obtaining a bacteriologic diagnosis, relieving the patient's symptoms, and assisting in eradication of lumbar infectious spondylitis. The indications of this minimally invasive procedure could be extended to treat patients suffering from spinal infections with paraspinal abscesses and postoperative recurrent infection. Patients with multilevel infection may have trivial benefits from PELD due to poor infection control and mechanical instability of the affected segments.
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