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Chronic osteomyelitis

Chronic osteomyelitis represents a form of osteomyelitis and is a progressive inflammatory process resulting in bone destruction and sequestrum formation. It may present as recurrent or intermittent disease.

It is a result of osteonecrosis caused by disruption of intraosseous and periosteal blood supply during the acute stage of the disease. A dead infected bone fragment becomes separated from viable bone (known as a sequestrum). Infective agents within the devascularised sequestrum become protected from antibiotics and the endogenous immune response, forming a nidus for chronic infection. This may persist for years.

Inhomogeneous osteosclerosis and/or sequestrum formation (necrotic bone) is characteristic of chronic osteomyelitis on plain radiography.

CT may provide information regarding the presence of sequestra, cloaca, cortical destruction and the thickness of the involucrum.

Article information

rID: 64483
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4: CT
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  • Case 5
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  • Case 6
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  • Case 7
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  • Case 8: distal humerus
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  • Case 9: 4th metatarsal
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  • Case 10: foot
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  • Case 11
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  • Case 12
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  • Case 13: with sequestrum
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  • Case 14: with sequestrum
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  • Case 15: with Brodie abscess
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  • Case 16: maxilla
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  • Case 17
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  • Case 18: calvarial (severe)
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  • Case 19
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