Imaging plays a key role in the evaluation of patients with known or suspected musculoskeletai infection. Although conventional radiograph still remains as the initial imaging approach, it has low sensitivity and specificity in the setting of acute infection. Magnetic resonance is highly sensitive for the detection of acute osteomyelitis and septic arthritis. Computed tomography is usually reserved for guided interventional procedures (eg, aspiration or drainage) and for evaluation of sinus tracts in chronic infections. Ultrasound is useful for fluid detection in joints and soft tissues but limited in bone assessment. Nuclear medicine, with the different radiotracers currently available, is highly sensitive for the diagnosis of acute osteomyelitis. Newer radiotracers are being developed that promise high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of these pathologies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases