OBJECTIVE

To compare the accuracies of MRI and leukocyte scanning in diagnosing clinically unsuspected osteomyelitis in diabetic foot ulcers.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

A prospective study of 16 diabetic foot ulcers in 12 patients, including both ambulatory and hospitalized patients, was performed at a university medical center. Pedal images were obtained by leukocyte scanning with [111In]oxyquinoline and MRI. Definitive diagnosis of osteomyelitis then was determined by bone biopsy for culture and histology.

RESULTS

Biopsy-proven osteomyelitis was present in 7 (44%) of the 16 foot ulcers. The diagnosis was suspected clinically in 0%. Leukocyte scanning was 100% sensitive, whereas MRI was only 29% sensitive in diagnosing osteomyelitis in diabetic foot ulcers. Specificities were 67 and 78%, respectively. The positive and negative predictive values (70 and 100%, respectively) for the leukocyte scan also were > those of MRI (50 and 58%, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Leukocyte scanning is superior to MRI in detecting clinically unsuspected osteomyelitis in diabetic foot ulcers.

This content is only available via PDF.