Utility of Plain Radiographs in Metabolic Bone Disease – A Case-Based Pictorial Review from a Tertiary Centre
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Publication date: 2018-02-02
Pol J Radiol, 2017; 82: 333-344
In this era of advanced high-tech imaging, the utility of plain radiographs in conditions of the bone is increasingly being overseen by both clinicians and radiologists. Plain radiography is the first-line, essential screening or diagnostic tool for diverse bone diseases, where magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be non-contributory. Plain radiographs often play a pivotal role in diagnosing metabolic bone disorders. This paper from a single tertiary care centre discusses ten real-life patients with metabolic bone conditions and other bone diseases with near-normal MRI of the spine, in whom plain radiographs revealed subtle findings and aided in making diagnoses. Each of these cases had a non-specific clinical presentation. They all showed inconclusive features on MRI, but subtle important radiographic findings led to a specific diagnosis. Plain radiography is key in diagnosing bone diseases. Many of these metabolic conditions clinically mimic rheumatologic conditions owing to non-specific arthralgia and back pain. Familiarity with subtle radiographic findings of these conditions may lead to early diagnosis and treatment, resulting in improved patient outcomes.
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