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Current Diabetes Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-3998
ISSN (Online): 1875-6417

Research Article

X-Ray Versus Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Diabetic Foot Osteomyelitis: A Clinical Comparison

Author(s): Karim Gariani*, Dan Lebowitz, Benjamin Kressmann, Joanna Gariani and Ilker Uçkay

Volume 17 , Issue 3 , 2021

Published on: 29 July, 2020

Page: [373 - 377] Pages: 5

DOI: 10.2174/1573399816999200729124134

Price: $65


Objective: Radiographic imaging is an important diagnostic tool in diabetic foot osteomyelitis (DFO). It is unknown whether DFO cases diagnosed with conventional X-ray versus positive Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) differ regarding epidemiology and treatment outcome. Theoretically, signs of inflammation on MRI without bone lesions might be easier to treat.

Methods: Our clinical pathway for diabetic foot infections discourages the use of MRI for the diagnosis of DFO. We compared the epidemiology and therapy of non-amputated DFO with positive features on conventional X-ray, MRI, or both. Radiology specialists interpreted the images. The intraoperative aspect of bone during amputation and the results of bone cultures were considered the gold standard for DFO diagnosis.

Results: We prospectively followed 390 DFO episodes in 186 adult patients for a median of 2.9 years and performed 318 conventional X-rays (median costs 100 Swiss Francs; 100 US$) and 47 (47/390; 12%) MRI scans (median 800 Swiss Francs; 800 US $). Among them, 18 episodes were associated with positive MRI findings but lacked bone lesions on X-ray. After debridement, the median duration of systemic antibiotics was 28 days for MRI-only episodes and 30 days for X-ray-positive cases (Wilcoxonranksum- test; p=0.26). The corresponding median numbers of surgical debridements were 1 and 1; and recurrence was witnessed in 25% and 28%, respectively. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, MRI-only episodes did not alter the remission rate (odds ratio 0.5, 95%CI 0.1-5.2).

Conclusion: According to our clinical pathway, DFO episodes with positive MRI findings only did not differ epidemiologically from the remaining DFO cases and did not influence the choice of therapy nor remission rate.

Keywords: Diabetic foot osteitis, X-ray, MRI, clinical associations, outcomes, osteomyelitis.

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