Craniofacial bone infarcts in sickle cell disease: Clinical and radiological manifestations

Memi Watanabe, Naoko Saito, Rohini N. Nadgir, Joseph H. Liao, Elisa N. Flower, Martin H. Steinberg, Osamu Sakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the clinicoradiological manifestations of craniofacial bone infarcts in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). MATERIALS AND METHODS: After institutional review board approval, we identified 85 SCD patients who underwent head and neck magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) during a period of 5 years (January 1, 2004-December 31, 2008) and reviewed their clinical presentations and radiological findings. RESULTS: Of 40 subjects with headache or facial pain, 6 (5 males, 1 female; age range, 2-22 years; 5 Hb SS, 1 Hb SC) were diagnosed with acute bone infarct by MRI. Of these 6, 4 demonstrated infarcts in the mandible. Magnetic resonance images showed bone marrow edema, subperiosteal fluid collections with susceptibility effects suggesting associated hemorrhage, and heterogeneous enhancement. CONCLUSIONS: Acute craniofacial bone infarcts were found in 7% of SCD patients who underwent MRI and in 15% of SCD patients who presented with pain. The MRI showed characteristic imaging findings including marrow edema, subperiosteal hematoma, and heterogeneous enhancement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of computer assisted tomography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • MRI
  • bone infarct
  • craniofacial bone
  • sickle cell disease
  • subperiosteal hematoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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