Color Doppler ultrasonographic evaluation of osteomyelitis in children

Hsun Chin Chao, Syh Jae Lin, Yhu Chering Huang, Tzou Yien Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the capability of color Doppler sonography in evaluating acute osteomyelitis in children. Twelve children suspected of having osteomyelitis were evaluated with color Doppler ultrasonography at admission and at regular intervals to observe the inflammatory process of osteomyelitis, determine the response of antibiotic therapy, and predict the need of surgery in these patients. At admission, color Doppler flow within or around the infected periosteum was found in patients with symptoms for 4 days or longer, whereas those with symptoms for less than 4 days showed no color Doppler flow within and around the periosteum. During sonographic follow-up, six cases were found to have increased color Doppler vascular flow within and around the affected periosteum, and two of them had periosteal abscess. They eventually required surgical treatment. Persistent or increased color Doppler flow during follow-up examination correlated with elevated serum levels of C- reactive protein as well. Our study indicated that color Doppler vascular flow within or around the infected periosteum correlated with advanced acute osteomyelitis, and surgery usually was required in these patients. Those with early stage acute osteomyelitis usually showed no vascular flow within or around the infected periosteum. Thus, color Doppler sonography allowed detection of advanced osteomyelitis and revealed the progression of inflammation during antibiotic therapy. Color Doppler ultrasonography might be valuable in determining the efficacy of antibiotic therapy and justifying the need for operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-734
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Color Doppler ultrasonography
  • Osteomyelitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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