Disease activity in osteomyelitis: role of radiography

Radiology. 1987 Dec;165(3):781-4. doi: 10.1148/radiology.165.3.3685360.


To determine the impact of radiographic findings on the interpretation of bone and gallium scans of patients with active osteomyelitis, the authors reviewed the medical records and radiologic examinations of 104 patients. The only diagnostic finding of active disease on radiographs was the presence of a sequestrum (three patients). Other findings--such as erosion, soft-tissue swelling, and periosteal reaction--proved nonspecific and did not differentiate active from inactive disease. Furthermore, these findings did not significantly change the sensitivity or specificity of the bone and gallium scans, either in detecting or in excluding the presence of active disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteomyelitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate


  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate