Magnetic resonance imaging helps in the early diagnosis of myositis ossificans in children

Pediatr Surg Int. 1999;15(3-4):287-9. doi: 10.1007/s003830050580.


Two cases on myositis ossificans circumscripta (MOC) in the arm are reported. Plain X-ray films and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were performed in both cases. In the first, an intramuscular tumor-like mass without calcifications was found on MRI with soft-tissue edema extension. In the second, MRI disclosed additional bone-marrow edema. The diagnosis of MOC was confirmed by biopsy in one case and by follow-up in the other. MOC is a benign soft-tissue lesion that is rare in children, with an acute course and usually spontaneously favorable evolution. The differential diagnosis from an infection or a malignant tumor remains difficult. The best imaging modalities are conventional radiography and MRI. The MRI patterns of MOC are typical but not pathognomonic; typical MRI findings in conjunction with clinical symptoms during the early phase of MOC permit the postponement of a biopsy or aggressive surgical procedures. Surgery is indicated for cases not showing typical MOC calcifications at a later stage.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arm
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Myositis Ossificans / diagnosis*