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Aktuelle Radiol. 1996 May;6(3):119-29.

[MRI of musculature in myalgia--indications and image findings].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Radiologische Klinik, Universit├Ątsklinik Hamburg Eppendorf.


This paper deals with the question of the clinical circumstances in which MRI seems to be promising in patients with myalgia. 241 patients suffering from myalgic symptoms were examined by axial scans of the muscular system with T1w and STIR-sequences. All patients underwent a complete neuromuscular examination, which included an MRI guided muscle-biopsy of 203 patients. The images were retrospectively analysed as to the typical characteristics of differential diagnosis. In cases of idiopathic or bacterial/viral induced myositis, primary vasculitis, and rhabdomyolysis, edematous changes of the muscles could always be found. Abscesses were only found in bacterial myositis. In cases of poly- and dermatomyositis as well as inclusion-body-myositis, MRI showed a uniform distribution pattern with emphasis on the quadriceps muscles. In contrast to other neuromuscular diseases in bacterial induced myositis, focal myositis, and rhabdomyolysis a strong contrast agent enhancement was seen. All patients with myalgic syndromes without any other additional neuropathological findings and 86% of the patients suffering from polymyalgia rheumatica had normal MR-findings. MRI allows a correct exclusion of an inflammatory, tumorous, or rhabdomyolitic cause of a myalgia and leads to pathognomonic findings for these diseases. Diseases belonging to the group of endocrine, toxic, or metabolic myopathies might be normal in MRI. We believe that an indication for MRI is given when muscular pain is associated with additional neuromuscular symptoms, especially if an inflammatory origin of the myalgia is suspected or if a muscle biopsy is planned.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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