CT detection of sacral osteomyelitis associated with pelvic abscesses

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In three patients the diagnosis of sacral osteomyelitis was made when CT demonstrated intraosseous (two) and intraforaminal (one) gas. Two of the three patients also had radionuclide bone scans, one of which was unre-markable. In the other case, radionuclide scintigraphy greatly underestimated the extent of the disease process when compared with CT. All three patients had contiguous pelvic abscesses as a cause of the osteomyelitis. Although there was a high clinical suspicion for an intraabdominal process, the diagnosis of superimposed osteomyelitis of the sacrum was unsuspected. The detection of intraosseous gas is a pathognomonic, albeit uncommon, manifestation of osteomyelitis. Although the radionuclide bone scan is the method of choice for detecting osteomyelitis, CT should be used as a complementary study in certain patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-121
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of computer assisted tomography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


  • Computed tomography
  • Crohn disease
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Pelvis, abscess

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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