Intraosseous abscess

Last revised by Lincoln J Lim on 2 Aug 2023

Intraosseous abscess refers to the pus-filled cavity within the bone with the surrounding rim of granulation tissue 1.


The term intraosseous abscess should be used for fluid-signal cavities within the bone showing peripheral rim enhancement, penumbra sign or diffusion restriction in unenhanced images. In subacute or chronic osteomyelitis, the intraosseous abscess could be termed Brodie abscess 1.

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph
  • lucent lesion with or without surrounding rim of reactive sclerosis often oriented along the long axis of the bone 2,3

  • periosteal new-bone formation +/- adjacent soft-tissue swelling 2,3

  • hypodense cystic lesion with thick rim ossification, well-circumscribed periosteal reaction, and reactive bone sclerosis around the lesion 2,3

  • T1: hypointense

  • T2/T2FS/STIR: hyperintense

  • T1 C+: peripheral enhancement

  • DWI: diffusion restriction 2,3

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