Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the site of injection of a contaminated lot of a steroid drug — used to treat symptoms such as back pain — resulted in earlier identification of patients with probable or confirmed fungal spinal or paraspinal infection, allowing early initiation of medical and surgical treatment, according to a study in today’s issue of JAMA.
“Fungal contamination of methylprednisolone [a steroid] prepared by a compounding pharmacy resulted in an unprecedented multistate outbreak of meningitis in the fall of 2012,” according to background information in the article. “Initially, these injections were complicated by meningitis. Within six weeks of the outbreak, meningitis became less frequent and localized spinal and paraspinal infections became the principal manifestations of contaminated steroid injections. In contrast to the relatively brief period in which meningitis cases appeared, a steady stream of spinal and paraspinal infections continue to present long after the injections were administered. Because patients received these injections to treat back pain or neuropathic symptoms, the presentation of a slowly developing spinal or paraspinal infection has been obscured.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/06/mri-screening-can-id-infections-drug-injections