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How is spinal TB diagnosed?

Q: What are the methods for diagnosis of spinal tuberculosis (TB)?

A:The diagnosis of spinal TB consists of a detailed clinical evaluation followed by relevant investigations. Documentation of the history of illness, including symptoms like back pain, fever, night sweating, anorexia, weight loss, and spinal mass, associated with numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness of the legs, is important. Pain alone can have a large number of other causes. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a non-specific blood test which is raised in a large number of conditions. Tuberculin skin test (Mantoux) or Quantiferron TB gold (QTG) can also be done. X-ray of the spine (AP / lateral), bone scan, CT/MRI of the spine, and bone biopsy are other investigations which are helpful in the diagnosis.


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