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MRIs Could Provide Early Detection of Meningitis from Tainted Steroids

Filed June 19th, 2013 edlieber1

A team of researchers may have discovered a way of helping out patients who developed meningitis following a contaminated steroid injection.

A screening MRI could potentially provide early warning of spinal or paraspinal meningitis in patients who received injections, MedPage Today reported. Anurag Malani, MD, of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., and colleagues found that the imaging system showed abnormalities in 21% (36) of the 172 patients screened. Of the 36, 17 met the┬áCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s definition for probable and 18 were confirmed as having a fungal spinal or paraspinal infection.

The research was reported online at the Journal of the American Medical Association. According to MedPage Today, the patients in the study had been treated with methylprednisolone from a highly polluted lot of the steroid, but had not sought medical care related to the injection.

Tainted steroids have been a major issue lately. Last year, a New England compounding pharmacy distributed contaminated methylprednisolone that led to dozens of deaths and many more illnesses due to fungal meningitis. In the last month, the CDC said it had received reports of 20 infections in three states connected to injectable steroids distributed by a Tennessee compounding pharmacy, MedPage Today reported.

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