Comparison of the diagnosis of plain radiography ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging in early diagnosis of acute osteomyelitis experimentally formed on rabbits
Purpose: We have compared the sensitivities of MRI, US and radiography which are some of the radiologic modalities used in the early diagnosis of acute osteomyelitis. Materials and methods: After 1 week care and research on 20 New Zealand rabbits (average weight: 2.5 kg) in animal laboratory, study was begun. Six rabbits died after anesthesia and surgical procedure. There were 14 rabbits remaining and 10 of them formed the study group. Four of them were used as the control group. Fresh mouse feces was inoculated into the bone marrow of 20 tibia under general anesthesia and during the following 15 days, MRI, US and radiographic researches were made everyday. Results: According to the results that we got at the end of the 15-day period, MRI was found as the most sensitive method in describing early diagnosis of infection in the bone marrow and also in showing the extension of the infection to the soft tissue. Although US showed the findings later than MRI, it was determined that its sensitivity was less than but near MRI's in detecting subperiosteal fluid in short term period. Radiographic research gives acute osteomyelitis diagnosis latest, so it was determined as the modality that has the lowest sensitivity. Conclusion: MRI which is one of the radiologic modalities among other diagnostic radiologic modalities that can be used in early diagnosis of acute osteomyelitis, has the highest sensitivity. Ultrasonography is the second most sensitive modality. Radiographic analysis has the least sensitivity among other modalities. As a result, first MRI then US and after that plain radiography should be used for the early diagnosis of acute osteomyelitis. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.