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Case reports / Snapshot

Spinal gout mimicking osteomyelitis

Minnie Au and John Wood
Med J Aust 2015; 203 (2): 113.

A 41-year-old Australian man with a history of gout presented with severe thoracic back pain and fevers, causing him to be bed-bound for a week. There was no infectious or traumatic precipitating event. This magnetic resonance image of the spine showed a lytic lesion on the T1 spinous process with inflammatory changes in the adjacent soft tissues and surrounded by a small collection of fluid. There was no spinal cord involvement.

The patient was treated for vertebral osteomyelitis and gout until a spinal aspirate showed monosodium urate crystals. He made a full recovery.

Minnie Au, MB BS
John Wood, MB BS(Hons)
Townsville Hospital, Townsville, QLD.