What is the accuracy of MRI for septic arthritis (SA) imaging?

Updated: May 12, 2016
  • Author: Lourdes Nunez-Atahualpa, MD; Chief Editor: Felix S Chew, MD, MBA, MEd  more...
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Answer

Answer

A clinically consistent history and the extra-articular findings of bone marrow edema or soft tissue inflammation are important in increasing the specificity of MRI for septic arthritis.

The sensitivity and specificity of MRI is increased in the setting of associated osteomyelitis. MRI is as sensitive as technetium-99m methylene diphosphonate (MDP) scintigraphy in detecting osteomyelitis, and it is more sensitive than other scintigraphic techniques. It is excellent for the evaluation of soft tissues because of its high spatial resolution and multiplanar capability [37]


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