The primary outcome of the study was detecting the presence or absence of non-contiguous mSpD.

The secondary outcomes were the investigation and analysis of epidemiological factors and comorbidities in patients with uSpD and mSpD as well as the analysis of the affected region and levels.

Demographics, length of hospital stay, readmission rate, mortality and comorbidity severity were assessed using the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI). Neurological deficit severity was graded according to the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) scale.

The duration of clinical symptoms (pain and neurological deficit) before hospital admission and the surgical strategies used, depending on the spine segment involvement (uSpD vs. mSpD) were also analyzed. Pain history was analyzed using the statement “painful yes/no?” according to segment localization (cervical, thoracic, lumbar) of SpD in MRI. Microbiology samples (e.g. blood cultures, intraoperative samples) were also compared.

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