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Osteomyelitis: An Overview of Imaging Modalities

Bires, Angela Macci EdD, MPM, RT(N), CNMT, FSMMI-TS; Kerr, Bryan AS, CNMT, NMTCB(CT), PET, NCT, R.T.(N)(CT)(ARRT); George, Lynn PhD, RN, CNE

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0000000000000056
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Diagnosis, early intervention, and treatment of patients who have an infection are the basic foundations of patient care. Early, appropriate interventions are associated with decreased patient morbidity and mortality. Diagnostic procedures with clinical information and laboratory results are integral in the assessment of inflammatory diseases and the prevention of sepsis. Some of the imaging modalities currently used for the assessment of inflammation include computed tomography, plain radiography, positron emission tomography, technetium Tc 99m bone scintigraphy, magnetic resonance imaging, and leukocyte scintigraphy. In the case of patients who exhibit signs of osteomyelitis, it is necessary to understand that acute and chronic conditions are not based on the duration of the disease but on the histopathologic features of the disease. Although several imaging modalities are considered appropriate, there is not one singular procedure that is considered ideal. Rather, it is a combination of procedures and various other clinical factors. This article addresses some of the advantages and disadvantages of the modalities, with a focus on molecular imaging and the assessment of osteomyelitis.

School of Nursing and Health Sciences (Drs Macci Bires and George), Department Head Health Sciences/Nuclear Medicine Technology Program Director (Dr Macci Bires), Associate Dean School of Nursing and Health Sciences (Dr George) Robert Morris University, Moon Township, Pennsylvania; and PET/CT and Nuclear Medicine Coordinator, Indiana University Health Goshen Hospital, Goshen, Indiana (Mr Kerr).

Correspondence: Angela Macci Bires, EdD, MPM, RT(N), CNMT, FSMMI-TS, Department of Health Sciences, Robert Morris University, 6001 University Blvd, Moon Township, PA 15108 (bires@rmu.edu).

The authors thank Robert Morris University, Indiana Goshen Hospital, Dr Denise Ramponi, Kristen Waterstram-Rich, Leyana Steed, and J. Scott Sebal.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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