Spinal infections can be thought of as a spectrum of disease comprising spondylitis, discitis, spondylodiscitis, pyogenic facet arthropathy, epidural infections, meningitis, polyradiculopathy and myelitis. Radiological evaluations have gained importance in the diagnosis, treatment planning, treatment and treatment monitoring of the spinal infections. Conventional radiographs are usually the initial imaging study. The sensitivity and specificity of the plain radiographs are very low. The sensitivity of CT is higher while it lacks of specificity. Conventional CT has played minor role for the diagnosis of early spondylitis and disc space infection and for follow-up, researches are going on the value of MDCT. MRI is as sensitive, specific and accurate as combined nuclear medicine studies and the method of choice for the spondylitis. Low signal areas of the vertebral body, loss of definition of the end plates and interruption of the cortical continuity, destruction of the cortical margins are typical on T1WI whereas high signal of affected areas of the vertebral body and disc is typical on T2WI. Contrast is mandatory and increases conspicuity, specificity, and observer confidence in the diagnosis and facilitates the treatment planning. Contrast enhancement is the earliest sign and pathognomonic in the acute inflammatory episode and even in the subtle infection then persists to a varying degree for several weeks or months. The outcome of the treatment is influenced by the type of infection and by the degree of neurologic compromise before treatment. There is an increasing move away from surgical intervention towards conservative therapy, percutaneous drainage of abscess or both. It is therefore critical to monitor treatment response, particularly in the immuno-deficient population. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.