Background: The value of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signs in differentiating Ewing sarcoma from osteomyelitis has not be thoroughly investigated.
Purpose: To investigate the value of various MRI signs in differentiating Ewing sarcoma from osteomyelitis.
Material and Methods: Forty-one patients who underwent MRI because of a bone lesion of unknown nature with a differential diagnosis that included both Ewing sarcoma and osteomyelitis were included. Two observers assessed several MRI signs, including the transition zone of the bone lesion, the presence of a soft-tissue mass, intramedullary and extramedullary fat globules, and the penumbra sign.
Results: Diagnostic accuracies for discriminating Ewing sarcoma from osteomyelitis were 82.4% and 79.4% for the presence of a soft-tissue mass, and 64.7% and 58.8% for a sharp transition zone of the bone lesion, for readers 1 and 2 respectively. Inter-observer agreement with regard to the presence of a soft-tissue mass and the transition zone of the bone lesion were moderate (kappa = 0.470) and fair (kappa = 0.307), respectively. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the diameter of the soft-tissue mass (if present) were 0.829 and 0.833, for readers I and 2 respectively. Mean inter-observer difference in soft-tissue mass diameter measurement +/- limits of agreement was 35.0 +/- 75.0 mm. Diagnostic accuracies of all other MRI signs were all <50%.
Conclusion: Presence and size of a soft-tissue mass, and sharpness of the transition zone, are useful MRI signs to differentiate Ewing sarcoma from osteomyelitis, but inter-observer agreement is relatively low. Other MRI signs are of no value in this setting.
- magnetic resonance imaging