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Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2006 Dec;20(4):789-825.

Imaging of osteomyelitis: current concepts.

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  • 1Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitación, Avenida México-Xochimilco No. 289, Arenal de Guadalupe, Tlalpan, Mexico City, 14389, Mexico.


Osteomyelitis frequently requires more than one imaging technique for an accurate diagnosis. Conventional radiography still remains the first imaging modality. MRI and nuclear medicine are the most sensitive and specific methods for the detection of osteomyelitis. MRI provides more accurate information regarding the extent of the infectious process. Ultrasound represents a noninvasive method to evaluate the involved soft tissues and cortical bone and may provide guidance for diagnostic or therapeutic aspiration, drainage, or tissue biopsy. CT scan can be a useful method to detect early osseous erosion and to document the presence of sequestra. PET and SPECT are highly accurate techniques for the evaluation of chronic osteomyelitis, allowing differentiation from soft tissue infection.

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