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Edema-like marrow signal intensity (ELMSI) associated with nonossifying fibroma (NOF) on MRI: an uncommon finding in a common bone lesion

Skeletal Radiol. 2023 Mar 3. doi: 10.1007/s00256-023-04312-9. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between nonossifying fibroma (NOF) and perilesional edema-like marrow signal intensity (ELMSI) on MRI and discuss the clinical and diagnostic implications of this finding.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective search for “nonossifying fibroma” and “NOF” on knee MRI reports of patients up to 20 years of age over a 5-year period was performed. A total of 77 patients (34 males, 43 females, ages 11-20) were identified, and each MRI was reviewed to evaluate for ELMSI associated with the NOF. Statistical analysis was performed to determine if there was a correlation with the presence of perilesional ELMSI and age, gender, lesion size, or signal characteristics.

RESULTS: Twelve patients out of 77 (16%) had ELMSI associated with a NOF. Excluding patients who had additional findings of pathologic fracture (n = 2), a known potential complication of NOFs, and edema related to an adjacent osteoid osteoma (n = 1), a total of 9 patients (12%) had otherwise unexplained perilesional ELMSI. There was no statistically significant difference between patients with vs. without perilesional ELMSI with respect to age (p = 0.08), gender (p = 0.28), lesion size (p = 0.52), or appearance on fluid-sensitive sequences (p = 0.81).

CONCLUSION: ELMSI can be seen about NOFs encountered around the knee joint on MRI, which may represent active healing and/or involutional change of this “do not touch” lesion in cases where no other explanation is identified.

PMID:36867220 | DOI:10.1007/s00256-023-04312-9

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