Sensitivity and specificity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for diagnosis of osteomyelitis

Bottom line: Sensitivity for diagnosing two types of osteomyelitis, chronic and foot, varied from 77-100%; likewise, specificity varied from 40-60%.

Termaat, M F, et al. “The accuracy of diagnostic imaging for the assessment of chronic osteomyelitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” JBJS The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery 87.11 (2005):2464-2471.
Systematic review included 5 MRI studies. Pooled sensitivity for MRI in these five studies was 84% (95% confidence interval, 69% to 92%), and the pooled specificity was 60% (95% confidence interval, 38% to 78%).

Kapoor, Alok, et al. “Magnetic resonance imaging for diagnosing foot osteomyelitis: a meta-analysis.” Archives of internal medicine 167.2 (2007):125-132.
In this systematic review of 16 studies, the diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) was 42.1 (95% confidence interval [CI], 14.8-119.9), sensitivity was 77%-100%, and specificity was 40%-100%. MRI’s specificity was 82.5% at the clinically relevant cut-point of 90% sensitivity.





About Lisa

I have been a Clinical Informationist (aka Medical Librarian) for Emory University since September 2013. Prior to that, I was a Medical Librarian for Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) from March 2007 to August 2013 and served its DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, Caylor School of Nursing, and allied health programs. From January 2002 - March 2007, I served the Medical Assisting (MA), Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapy Assistant, Radiologic Technologist, and Nursing programs at South College in Knoxville, Tennessee. I graduated from The University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences with a Master of Science degree in December 2000.
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