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n SA Journal of Radiology - Is anatomical distribution helpful for differentiating TB spondylitis from neoplastic causes of extradural spinal cord compression in children? A pilot study : original article
Background. Extradural spinal cord compression in children may be the result of infection / inflammation or neoplasia. It is vital to differentiate between the two as there is considerable difference in the management of these entities.
Objective. The aim of this paper is to determine whether there are significant differences between TB spondylitis and neoplasia causing extradural compression of the cord with regard to the anatomical distribution and compartmentalisation.
Materials and methods. A group of 16 children between the ages of 4 months and 14.2 years who had magnetic resonance (MR) evaluation of the spine consecutively were analysed retrospectively.
Results. A wide variety of neoplasms demonstrated an anatomical site and compartment on MRI that is 'characteristic' of TB spondylitis.
Conclusion. Anatomical distribution alone does not assist in narrowing the differential diagnosis. There is still need for biopsy in children with extradural compression by a mass.
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