Dr. Spellberg's Activity

  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    What is meningitis?

    An "itis" is an inflammation of whatever the thing is in the word that's before the "itis".  So meningitis is inflammation of the meninges (mening-itis).  The meninges is a three-part layer of connective tissue that surrounds the brain and descends from the skull to surround the spinal cord all the way...Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    How dangerous is rabies if it is not treated?

    Rabies is virtually 100% fatal if symptoms develop.  There is no effective treatment for infection once symptoms develop.  The key is to treat exposed patients with immune globulin to try to prevent establishment of infection.  Rabies prophylaxis with immune globulin is nearly 100% effective at p...Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    How is osteomyelitis diagnosed?

    Ultimately the diagnosis is clinical in most cases, but imaging of the affected bone is usually required.  X rays are not terribly helpful.  The gold-standard for diagnosing the infection has become MRI, which is 90-95% sensitive and 90% or more specific.  A positive MRI in a patient with the appropriate...Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    How is osteomyelitis treated?

    The treatment for most cases of osteomyelitis in adults is surgical cleaning or removal of the infected bone plus prolonged antibiotics. For many years, physicians insisted on giving all of the antibiotics intravenously, for 6 weeks or so. It is now clear that many cases of osteomyelitis can be treated with...Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    What is osteomyelitis?

    Osteomyelitis is infection of bone.  It is usually a chronic bacterial infection in adults or an acute bacterial infection in children. Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    What is the spleen?

    The spleen is an organ on the left side of the abdomen.  Normally you can't feel your spleen.  In certain diseases, the spleen becomes enlarged and can be felt descending below the ribcage on the left side of the body.  The spleen's primary role is to serve as a filter for the blood.  Special white blood cells...Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    What are antibodies?

    Antibodies are proteins produced by specialized immune cells called B lymphocytes. Each B cell produces 1 type of antibody.  B cells are so numerous and diverse, that the body can produce a virtually limitless array of antibodies to bind almost anything that we encounter.  Antibodies bind to substances...Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    How does bone marrow relate to your immune system?

    The bone marrow is the site of production of all blood cells, including white blood cells.  White blood cells are what defend our bodies from infections.  So, if the bone marrow does not work right, and white cells are not produced in adequate numbers or with normal function, the body becomes at...Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    What is the thymus?

    The thymus is a gland in the neck that is most active during childhood and begins to slowly disappear during teenage years and young adulthood.  A small amount of thymus is left during adulthood.  The primary function of the thymus is as part of the immune system.  Special white blood cells, called...Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    What is the treatment for osteomyelitis?

    The treatment for most cases of osteomyelitis in adults is surgical cleaning or removal of the infected bone plus prolonged antibiotics.  For many years, physicians insisted on giving all of the antibiotics intravenously, for 6 weeks or so.  It is now clear that many cases of osteomyelitis can be treated with oral...Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    What are the symptoms of osteomyelitis?

    The symptoms are variable. In adults, it's usually pain and changes in the skin over the bone.  This may involve an ulcer or fistulous tract forming over the bone, which may drain pus.  Fever is variable.  In adults, these symptoms are often fairly mild and chronic, occuring for days to weeks.  In...Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    How is neuro-sarcoidosis diagnosed?

    All forms of sarcoid require a biopsy to diagnose.  One looks for classical "non-caseating granuloma" on a biopsy, and you also have to rule out all other potential causes of disease. Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    Who is at risk of having bacterial meningitis?

    Anyone can get bacterial meningitis.  However, some people are at higher risk than others.  People whose immune systems do not function normally are at higher risk for many forms of meningitis. Such patients could include those taking steroids or other immune suppressive medications (e.g., patients...Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    Is bacterial meningitis contagious?

    There are many bacteria that can cause meningitis.  Some, but not all, forms are contagious.  In particular, Neisseria meningitidis meningitis is highly contagious.  Neisseria meningitis commonly occurs among teenagers and young adults, often in military barracks or college dormitories, do to exposure...Read More
  • Dr. Brad J. Spellberg, MD - Torrance, CA - Infectious Disease

    What types of complications can occur in people with bacterial meningitis?

    Death despite treatment occurs in 20-30% of patients.  Survivors are often left with neurological defects (i.e., brain damage), which can be debilitating.  Some patients require plastic tubes to relieve pressure from the brain. Read More