An unusual appearance of discitis due to gas-forming escherichia coli with associated pneumocephalus

Anahita Aghaei Lasboo, Matthew T. Walker, Tarek A. Hijaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


STUDY DESIGN.: Case report. OBJECTIVE.: To report on an unusual case of isolated septic discitis, meningitis, pneumocephalus, and solid organ abscesses associated with urosepsis from gas-producing Escherichia coli. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA.: Isolated septic discitis, or disc infection without involvement of adjacent vertebrae, following E. coli urosepsis is an unusual finding in the adult population and to our knowledge has not been reported previously. METHODS.: The clinical manifestations and imaging findings of a patient with a history of back pain are described. The significance of the reported case is discussed. RESULTS.: Laboratory finding and imaging studies revealed a Gram-negative sepsis associated with meningitis, discitis, pneumocephalus, and solid organ abscesses. Due to widespread involvement of multiple organs, the infection remained refractory to treatment, and the patient died. CONCLUSION.: Our report adds to the literature by describing an unusual appearance of spine infection in an adult. Furthermore, it emphasizes the importance of a systematic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E257-E259
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010


  • Isolated discitis
  • Pneumocephalus
  • Urosepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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