Purpose of review: To describe in detail the clinical synopsis and pathophysiology of chronic non-bacterial osteomyelitis and SAPHO syndrome.
Recent findings: Chronic non-bacterial osteomyelitis (CNO) has been identified as a disease entity for almost 50 years. This inflammatory bone disorder is characterized by osteolytic as well as hyperostotic/osteosclerotic lesions. It is chronic in nature, but it can present with episodic flairs and phases of remission, which have led to the denomination "chronic recurrent osteomyelitis", with its severe multifocal form "chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis" (CRMO). For almost three decades, an infectious aetiology had been considered, since especially Propionibacterium acnes had been isolated from bone lesions of individual patients. However, this concept has been challenged since long-term antibiotic therapy did not alter the course of disease and modern microbiological techniques (including PCR) failed to confirm bone infection as an underlying cause. Over recent years, a profound dysregulation of cytokine expression profiles has been demonstrated in innate immune cells of CNO patients. A hallmark of monocytes from CNO patients is the failure to produce immune regulatory cytokines interleukin-10 (IL-10) and IL-19, which have been linked with genetic and epigenetic alterations. Subsequently, a significant upregulation of pro-inflammatory, NLRP3 inflammasome-dependent cytokines (IL-1β and TNF-α), has been demonstrated. The current knowledge on CNO, the underlying molecular pathophysiology, and modern imaging strategies are summarized; differential diagnoses, treatment options, outcome measures, as well as quality of life studies are discussed.
Keywords: Bone autoinflammation; Chronic non-bacterial osteomyelitis; Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis; Lymphoplasmacellular osteomyelitis.