What is the role of MR) in the workup of sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Updated: May 12, 2021
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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MRI can demonstrate avascular necrosis of the femoral and humeral heads and may distinguish between osteomyelitis and bony infarction in patients with bone pain. MRI is the best method for detecting early signs of osteonecrosis in patients with SCD and for identifying episodes of osteomyelitis.

MRI allows the early detection of changes in bone marrow due to acute and chronic bone marrow infarction, marrow hyperplasia, osteomyelitis, and osteonecrosis. Bone sequestra, sinus tracts, and subperiosteal abscesses are also clearly identified when present.

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