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Emphysematous osteomyelitis is an extremely rare form of osteomyelitis which is complicated by infection with gas-forming organisms. Only a handful of cases are published in the literature.
Commonly reported organisms include 1
Escherichia coli 4
The vertebrae may be involved in ~40% of cases 1
It is characterized by the presence of intraosseous gas (pumice stone sign) accompanied by other signs of bony and soft tissue infection.
History and etymology
It was initially described by P C Ram and colleagues in 1981 2.
- 1. Luey C, Tooley D, Briggs S. Emphysematous osteomyelitis: a case report and review of the literature. Int. J. Infect. Dis. 2012;16 (3): e216-20. doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2011.11.007 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Ram PC, Martinez S, Korobkin M et-al. CT detection of intraosseous gas: a new sign of osteomyelitis. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1981;137 (4): 721-3. AJR Am J Roentgenol (citation) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Bielecki DK, Sartoris D, Resnick D et-al. Intraosseous and intradiscal gas in association with spinal infection: report of three cases. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1986;147 (1): 83-6. AJR Am J Roentgenol (citation) - Pubmed citation
- 4. Lee J, Jeong CH, Lee MH, Jeong EG, Kim YJ, Kim SI, Kim YR. Emphysematous Osteomyelitis due to Escherichia coli. (2017) Infection & chemotherapy. 49 (2): 151-154. doi:10.3947/ic.2017.49.2.151 - Pubmed