MRI diagnosis of diabetic muscle infarction: report of two cases

Skeletal Radiol. 1997 Feb;26(2):122-7. doi: 10.1007/s002560050205.


Diabetic muscle infarction (DMI) is a rare complication of diabetes mellitus occurring in patients with poorly controlled insulin-dependent diabetes. In previous reports, the diagnosis of this condition was based on the pathologic studies, although MRI examinations were performed in a few patients as part of the diagnostic work-up. In this report, we describe two additional cases of DMI where the diagnosis was based on the MRI findings in conjunction with the clinical picture and laboratory studies. The patients usually present with thigh or calf pain and swelling, are afebrile, and have normal white blood cell count. MRI examination typically shows diffuse swelling and increased signal intensity on T2-weighted images in the affected muscles, with no focal fluid collections. In the proper clinical setting, these findings are diagnostic of DMI and patients should be spared unnecessary invasive diagnostic examinations such as lower extremity venograms and biopsies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Infarction / etiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / diagnostic imaging
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Phlebography
  • Thigh / diagnostic imaging
  • Thigh / pathology