What is the accuracy of radiography in the diagnosis of septic arthritis (SA)?

Updated: Sep 19, 2019
  • Author: Lourdes Nunez-Atahualpa, MD; Chief Editor: Felix S Chew, MD, MBA, MEd  more...
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Answer

Answer

Initial plain radiographic findings are frequently normal. In a prospective study that evaluated 123 patients with suspected hip joint effusion, plain films had only a sensitivity of 27.8% when compared with a 100% sensitivity from ultrasonography. [30]

The characteristic findings are somewhat nonspecific by themselves, but they can be nearly diagnostic when correlated clinically.


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