Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Pressure Sores in Spinal Cord Injured Patients: Accuracy in Predicting Osteomyelitis

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Abstract

Objective:

Identify key magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features that have a significant correlation with osteomyelitis of pressure ulcers in spinal injury patients.

Design:

Retrospective review study.

Participants:

Adult patients admitted to the National Spinal Injuries Centre with spinal cord injury (SCI) and signs of pressure ulceration investigated with MRI.

Methods:

Analysis of MRI examinations and clinical records collected over a 4-year period. Images were independently assessed by 2 experienced radiologists for osteomyelitis based on assigned predictive indicators including cortical bone erosion, soft tissue edema, deep collections, heterotopic new bone, hip effusion, and abnormal signal change of the marrow.

Results:

Thirty-seven patients underwent 41 MRI scans. The prevalence of osteomyelitis was highly correlated with cortical bone erosion (r = 0.84) and abnormal bone marrow changes on T1-weighted images (r = 0.82).

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