Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis: five-year outcomes in 14 pediatric cases

Joint Bone Spine. 2001 May;68(3):245-51. doi: 10.1016/s1297-319x(01)00276-7.


Objective: To determine the clinical presentation and outcomes of chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO) in pediatric patients.

Patients and methods: Ten girls and four boys were followed up between 1993 and 1999 for CRMO diagnosed on the basis of radiographic bone lesions with, at the same sites, increased radionuclide uptake, negative microbiological specimens, and histological evidence of nonspecific osteomyelitis.

Results: Mean age at CRMO was 9.6+/-3.4 years, mean disease duration was 5.3+/-2.5 years, and mean number of flares per patient was 5.9+/-3.7. Thirty-four percent of lesions were in the metaphyses of the lower limb bones, 14% in the pelvis, and 13% in the chest wall (with clavicular lesions in four patients). Three patients had skin lesions (psoriasis in two and palmoplantar pustulosis in one). Eight patients received antibiotic therapy, for 2 months at the most, to no advantage in the short term. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were used in all 14 patients and glucocorticoid therapy in four. Sulfasalazine was used in five patients, to good effect in four. Mean follow-up was 5.3+/-2.5 years. At last follow-up, eight patients had active disease, including one with synovitis and one with Takayashu's disease.

Conclusion: As compared to SAPHO syndrome, skin lesions and chest wall involvement are less common in CRMO. The long-term prognosis is guarded: in our study only six of 14 patients were in remission at last follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Hyperostosis Syndrome / complications
  • Acquired Hyperostosis Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Acquired Hyperostosis Syndrome / pathology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteomyelitis / complications
  • Osteomyelitis / drug therapy
  • Osteomyelitis / pathology*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sulfasalazine / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Sulfasalazine