Neurologic impairment is not considered a clinical manifestation of diskitis in children and has seldom been associated with it in the medical literature.
To describe neurologic findings and their implications in children with diskitis.
Retrospective medical records review of children discharged with a diagnosis of diskitis between January 1992 and December 2000. The study included children in whom the diagnosis was based on the presence of clinical findings, laboratory evidence of an inflammatory process, and findings on imaging studies compatible with diskitis.
Neurologic findings of decreased muscle strength or hyporeflexia in the lower extremities were found in 7 (41%) of 17 children who met the diagnostic criteria for diskitis. Five of the 7 underwent magnetic resonance imaging, 2 of whom demonstrated intraspinal inflammatory involvement.
Neurologic impairment does not exclude the diagnosis of diskitis and may be a common manifestation of the disease in children. Nevertheless, when neurologic findings are present, advanced imaging studies are needed to exclude intraspinal involvement.