Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis: Comparison of whole-body MR imaging with radiography and correlation with clinical and laboratory data

Jan Fritz, Nikolay Tzaribatchev, Claus D. Claussen, John A. Carrino, Marius S. Horger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe whole-body magnetic resonance (MR) imaging appearance of chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO) and assess the role of MR imaging versus radiography in diagnosis of disease and correlation with clinical findings and laboratory data. Materials and Methods: Institutional review board approved this retrospective HIPAA-compliant study; informed consent was waived. T1-weighted, short inversion time inversion-recovery, and contrast material-enhanced T1-weighted whole-body MR imaging was performed and two-plane radiographs, clinical findings, and laboratory data were reviewed in 13 children (median age, 13 years) with CRMO. Lesion depiction, location, and characterization and extraskeletal abnormalities were evaluated. MR imaging findings were compared with clinical and laboratory data and radiographic results. Data analysis was performed, and diagnostic performance statistics of radiography, physical examination results, and serum inflammatory markers were calculated. General multilevel linear modeling framework was used. Odds ratios were calculated to estimate effect of age, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and C-reactive protein (CRP) level on reliabilities. Associations of ESR and CRP level with total number of lesions were assessed (χ2 test). Results: MR imaging depicted 101 ill-defined edemalike osseous lesions. Most frequent anatomic sites were distal femur (21%, 21 of 101), proximal tibia (17%, 17 of 101), and distal tibia and fibula (14% each, 14 of 101). In tubular bones (70 anatomic sites), metaphysis (86%, 60 of 70) and epiphysis (67%, 47 of 70) were involved. Contiguous physeal relationship (89%, 66 of 74), periosteal reaction (48%, 48 of 101), and symmetric involvement (85%, 11 of 13) were present. MR imaging demonstrated multifocality in all patients. There were no extraskeletal abnormalities and no relationship between serum inflammatory markers and number of symptomatic anatomic sites (P = .472). Sensitivity for radiography was 0.13 (70 of 119); physical examination, 0.31 (52 of 299); and serum inflammatory markers, 0.15 (two of 13). Conclusion: Whole-body MR imaging is useful for detection of CRMO, particularly in indeterminate cases, because it is more likely to show abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)842-851
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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