Magnetic resonance imaging of osteoarticular infections in children

Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2004 Mar-Apr;33(2):43-59. doi: 10.1016/j.cpradiol.2003.09.003.


Magnetic resonance imaging has become a common tool for the diagnosis and management of osteoarticular infections in children. We retrospectively review the MRI findings in 57 children (age range 4 months to 16 years; mean 6.3 years) diagnosed with osteoarticular infection. Thirty-eight cases were osteomyelitis, 4 were septic arthritis, 6 were spondylodiscitis, 7 were soft-tissue infections, 2 were pyomyositis, and 2 were chronic multifocal osteomyelitis. The pathogenesis and classification of osteoarticular infections are briefly discussed. Currently available imaging techniques are reviewed, and advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Magnetic resonance imaging indications and findings are shown. The most adequate magnetic resonance imaging sequences, as well as the usefulness of intravenous contrast material, are stressed.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Infectious / diagnosis
  • Bone Diseases, Infectious / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Discitis / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Osteomyelitis / diagnosis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Soft Tissue Infections / diagnosis*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed