Semin Musculoskelet Radiol 2004; 8(3): 243-253
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-835364
Copyright © 2004 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA.

Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis

Anne Grethe Jurik1
  • 1Department of Radiology, Aarhus University Hospital, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
11 October 2004 (online)

Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO) is a clinical entity distinct from bacterial osteomyelitis. It occurs mainly in children and adolescents and is characterized by a prolonged, fluctuating course with recurrent episodes of pain occurring over several years. CRMO is often multifocal and most often seen in tubular bones, the clavicle, and less frequently the spine and pelvic bones; other locations are rare. The radiographic appearance suggests subacute or chronic osteomyelitis. Histopathological and laboratory findings are nonspecific and bacterial culture is usually negative. CRMO is often diagnosed by exclusion of the two main differential diagnoses-bacterial infections and tumor-by assessing for a characteristic course and the findings by conventional radiography, if necessary supplemented by scintigraphy and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI appearance of CRMO lesions in tubular bones and the spine is often rather characteristic and support the diagnosis. It is important to diagnose CRMO to avoid unnecessary diagnostic procedures and initiate an appropriate therapy.


Anne Grethe Jurik, M.D. , D.M.Sc. 

Department of Radiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Noerrebrogade 44

DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark