Vertebral Osteomyelitis Secondary to Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Instillation Therapy for Transitional Cell Carcinoma In Situ

Author Department

Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine; Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Transitional cell carcinoma is the sixth most common cancer among men and the 17th most common cancer in women. The treatment methods for the condition range from noninvasive chemotherapy to more invasive procedures like cystectomy and complete transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) followed by intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) therapy (BCG). Intravesical BCG treatment is known to be effective as it is associated with increased survivability and long-term benefits, especially in early-stage, minimally-invasive disease. It is generally considered to be safe, even though some adverse reactions have been described. Vertebral osteomyelitis secondary to intravesical BCG therapy is a rare complication but one that has been reported in the literature. Although our patient had multiple comorbidities, including a previous vertebral compression fracture prior to treatment, complications from intravesical BCG treatment should always be considered in the differential. Further multi-center retrospective studies are needed to better ascertain its true risk given its increasing use as a treatment modality for transitional cell carcinoma.

Keywords: bcg; bladder cancer; intravesical bcg treatment; mycobacterium bovis; vertebral osteomyelitis.