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Rare sites of actinomycosis

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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rare sites of actinomycosis

Central nervous system, bones, muscle tissue, and prosthetic joints may rarely develop Actinomycosis infections.

  • central nervous system
    • caused by direct spread from an orocervicofacial infection or from haematogenous spread
    • CNS presentations may include:
      • brain abscess, meningitis or meningoencephalitis, actinomycoma, subdural empyema, and epidural abscess
      • non-meningitic infection causing symptoms of a space occupying lesion e.g. - headache and focal neurological signs related to the anatomical site of disease.
  • musculoskeletal infections
    • caused by spread from an adjacent soft tissue (75% of cases), from local trauma (19%) or haematogenous spread (3%)
    • facial bones (especially the mandible) is frequently involved
    • in hip and knee prostheses
      • early presentation - suggests introduction of the organism perioperatively
      • late presentation - usually due to haematogenous spread from an extra-articular site


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