Clinical-Morphological Aspects in Spinal Tuberculosis

Osteoarticular tuberculosis (OATB) Aim: The authors made a clinical morphological assessment of tissue samples from patients admitted in Surgical Departments of the Emergency County Hospital of Craiova, Romania, between 1990 and 2015, proved as presenting tuberculous lesions of the spine in the Department of Pathology of the same Hospital.

The studied material consisted of bone, joint and sometimes muscle tissue fragments resulted from biopsies or surgical excisions from 7 cases coming out of 54 patients investigated in the above-mentioned period of time, where the established histological diagnosis was tuberculosis (TB). For diagnostic confirmation, Ziehl-Neelsen staining has been used as a rule but, in some cases, immunohistochemistry was also used.

TB lesions have prevailed in men and around the age of 50 years. Thoracic segment of the spine was the most involved. Epithelioid and giant Langhans cells dominated the inflammatory cellular population. Necrosis was always present, usually in its classical acidophilic form. Fibrosis was almost always absent. On the whole, the granulomatous reaction was in almost half of the cases hyporeactive and disorganized.

The clinical morphological profile of our series is fitting with data described in the literature. Because of its life threatening potential, spinal TB should be investigated thoroughly especially in its morphological features in order to obtain as quickly as possible an etiological diagnosis.