How does the MRI appearance of acute osteomyelitis differ if the source of infection is hematogenous?
Many of the ancillary signs that are typically used to establish the diagnosis of acute osteomyelitis will be absent—in particular, a skin ulcer is unlikely to be present. Infection may present only as patchy areas of bone marrow edema. In such cases, clinical history, such as of known bacteremia, is vital for accurate diagnosis. Another suggestive finding is polyostotic involvement (multifocality), although multifocal bone marrow edema can be caused by many other disease processes besides infection.