Case Report
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2020. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Cases. Jun 6, 2020; 8(11): 2318-2324
Published online Jun 6, 2020. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v8.i11.2318
Pyogenic discitis with an epidural abscess after cervical analgesic discography: A case report
Bing Wu, Xin He, Bao-Gan Peng
Bing Wu, Bao-Gan Peng, Department of Spinal Surgery, the Third Medical Center, PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100039, China
Xin He, Department of Orthopedics, the First Hospital of Qiqihar, Qiqihar 161000, Heilongjiang Province, China
Author contributions: Bing W, Xin H, and Peng BG wrote the manuscript; Bing W collected data for review; Bing W and Peng B treated patients; all authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Supported by Foundation of Capital Medical Development, Beijing, China, No. 2010026.
Informed consent statement: Written informed consent was obtained from the patient.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no current financial arrangement or affiliation with any organization that may have a direct influence on their work.
CARE Checklist (2016) statement: The authors have read the CARE Checklist (2016), and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the CARE Checklist (2016).
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Bao-Gan Peng, MD, PhD, Chief Doctor, Professor, Department of Spinal Surgery, the Third Medical Center, PLA General Hospital, 69 Yongding Road, Beijing 100039, China.
Received: February 21, 2020
Peer-review started: February 21, 2020
First decision: April 24, 2020
Revised: April 26, 2020
Accepted: May 14, 2020
Article in press: May 14, 2020
Published online: June 6, 2020

Chronic neck pain is a common clinical problem. It has long been considered that degenerative cervical disc is an important source of chronic neck pain. In the clinic, cervical discography is thought to be a useful and safe method to distinguish aging discs from pathological discs, and the probability of complications caused by it is really rare. However, once complication occurs, it is likely to cause fatal consequences to patients. Therefore, accurate judgment and effective treatment are crucial.


A 45-year-old female was admitted to the department with a 5-year history of severe neck pain, dizziness, and tinnitus. In order to find the diseased disc, analgesic discography was performed on C4/5 and 6/7 discs successively. Unfortunately, Discitis with an epidural abscess was caused during the procedures. With the help of magnetic resonance imaging, an accurate diagnosis was made and an urgent anterior cervical operation was given subsequently. The patient ultimately recovered well.


Discitis with epidural abscess is a rare complication after cervical discography, which needs accurate diagnosis and effective antibiotic treatment.

Keywords: Discography, Discitis, Epidural abscess, Diagnosis, Treatment, Magnetic resonance imaging

Core tip: Discitis with epidural abscess is an infrequent complication after cervical discography, which may cause incalculable damage to patients. Therefore, rapid diagnosis and effective treatment are extremely significant.