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Yield of Image-Guided Needle Biopsy for Infectious Discitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

BACKGROUND: Image-guided biopsy is routinely conducted in patients with suspected discitis, though the sensitivity reported in the literature ranges widely.

PURPOSE: We applied a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the yield of image-guided biopsy for infectious discitis.

DATA SOURCES: We performed a literature search of 4 data bases: PubMed, Cochrane CENTRAL Register of Controlled Trials,, and Scopus from data base inception to March 2016.

STUDY SELECTION: A screen of 1814 articles identified 88 potentially relevant articles. Data were extracted for 33 articles, which were eligible if they were peer-reviewed publications of patients with clinical suspicion of discitis who underwent image-guided biopsy.

DATA ANALYSIS: Patients with positive cultures out of total image-guided biopsy procedures were pooled to estimate yield with 95% confidence intervals. Hypothesis testing was performed with an inverse variance method after logit transformation.

DATA SYNTHESIS: Image-guided biopsy has a yield of approximately 48% (793/1763), which is significantly lower than the open surgical biopsy yield of 76% (152/201; P < .01). Biopsy in patients with prior antibiotic exposure had a yield of 32% (106/346), which was not significantly different from the yield of 43% (336/813; P = .08) in patients without prior antibiotic exposure.

LIMITATIONS: The conclusions of this meta-analysis are primarily limited by the heterogeneity of the included studies.

CONCLUSIONS: Image-guided biopsy has a moderate yield for the diagnosis of infectious discitis, which is significantly lower than the yield of open surgical biopsy. This yield is not significantly affected by prior antibiotic use.

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