Semin Musculoskelet Radiol 2004; 8(3): 255-265
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-835365
Copyright © 2004 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA.

Imaging of Osteomyelitis with Special Reference to Children

Gaurav Saigal1 , E. Michel Azouz1 , George Abdenour1
  • 1Department of Radiology, Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
11 October 2004 (online)

Infection of bone in children represents a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge to the pediatrician, the surgeon, the radiologist, and the pathologist. The pattern of manifestation varies and is dependent on the site of involvement, the initiating event, the infecting organism, and the acute or chronic nature of the illness. Early diagnosis allows prompt treatment, which can prevent many of the dreaded complications of this disease. Plain radiographs remain the initial imaging modality used in the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of osteomyelitis. However, with the advent of newer imaging techniques such as scintigraphy, ultrasonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging, a higher degree of accuracy in diagnosis and definition of the extent of the disease has been achieved. The time interval between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis has also been significantly reduced. Although magnetic resonance imaging has the additional advantage of multiplanar capability, greater anatomic detail, and excellent soft tissue resolution, it is a relatively expensive technique, which somewhat limits its use. Following a brief review of the classification and pathophysiology of osteomyelitis, we have tried to elucidate the utility of various imaging modalities in the diagnosis of osteomyelitis in children, outlining their relative strengths and weaknesses. Certain entities specific to children and a brief review of differential diagnosis are also presented.


E. Michel Azouz, M.D. , F.R.C.P.C. 

1611 N.W., 12th Avenue, WW279, Department of Radiology, Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami

Miami, FL 33136