|Chest radiograph of a patient who had sternal pain, fever and discharge shows no obvious bony abnormality.|
|Sagittal STIR and coronal T1W MR images demonstrate bone marrow edema with soft tissue changes in the sternum and right sternoclavicular joint (arrows).|
- Uncommon infection of the sternum and sternoclavicular joint
- Usually affecting drug addicts, individuals with history of recent subclavian catheter placement, and patients with chronic debilitating illnesses
- Inciting organisms vary widely depending on demographics
- High failure rates of medical treatment alone. Typical treatment includes surgical debridement and en bloc removal
- Radiograph is rarely helpful
- CT may show bone destruction but this may be late because damage begins in the joint. Surrounding soft tissue abnormalities are often a useful sign.
- MRI much more sensitive to detect joint and bone changes that are similar in findings to other areas of bone/joint infection
Shields TW et al. General Thoracic Surgery, 7th edition, 2009.