Nicola Giampaolini, Massimo Berdini, Marco Rotini, Rosa Palmisani, Nicola Specchia, Monia Martiniani

January 2022, pp 1 - 12 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-021-07072-z

First Online: 15 January 2022


Pyogenic spondylodiscitis is a relatively rare spinal disease; non-specific spondylodiscitis (NSS) cases are increasing. This study aims to identify if changes of inflammatory markers under antibiotic therapy can be used to determine which NSS patients can benefit from surgical indication earlier than others.


Two groups of patients with NSS were examined. Group A underwent surgery, while Group B was treated conservatively. Group B was also subdivided in patients undergoing antibiotic therapy for > 6 weeks (B1) and < 6 weeks (B2). Groups were compared for age, gender, BMI, blood levels of ESR and CRP and VAS scale.


There were no differences (P = 0.06) in reduction in ESR at 4 weeks between two main groups. A reduction in CRP, with < 2.7 mg/dl at 4 weeks, was observed in Group A (P = 0.01). Comparing Group B1 to B2, a reduction (P = 0.0001) in VAS, ESR and CRP at 4 weeks was observed in Group B2. It was possible to isolate the pathogen in 52.8% of Group B, without any differences on VAS, ESR and CRP values and on length of the antibiotic therapy.


The surgical treatment should be considered for patients who, after 4 weeks of conservative therapy, do not show a reduction in the ESR < 50 mm/h and of the CRP < 2.7 g/dl.

The comparison between groups underwent surgically and those treated conservatively showed a reduction in the CRP at 4 weeks and better VAS for pain at 3 months in Group A.

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