Osteomyelitis in infants and children

Pierre Schmit, Christophe Glorion
European Radiology 2004, 14 Suppl 4: L44-54
Infection of the pediatric skeletal system is a dramatic diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. The consequences of a missed diagnosis could lead to long-lasting functional sequelae. This disease has multiple aspects according to the clinical presentation and evolution, the causative microorganism, the site of infection, and, finally, the patient's age and immunological status. The choice of the most appropriate imaging modality according to the clinical presentation is very important to assess the diagnosis, the extent of the disease, and to obtain the causative germ when needed; thus, plain films, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, computed tomography, and MR imaging are discussed, each of them having pros and cons. This multimodality approach of the musculoskeletal infections is mandatory to guide surgery, to deliver an appropriate antibiotic therapy, and to reduce the rate of long-term functional sequelae.

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