Carpal-tarsal osteolysis with elbow involvement

Kirsteen McDonald, Andoni P Toms, Kate Armon, Karl Johnson, Thomas J Marshall

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Carpal-tarsal osteolysis is a rare condition that manifests as the progressive resorption of carpal and tarsal bones in young children. The diagnosis of this condition is often difficult and delayed as the initial clinical presentation is non-specific. Radiographic changes occur gradually, are often not seen at presentation and depend on recognising loss of bone in the ossification centres of the carpus and tarsus. MRI demonstrates morphological abnormalities in the cartilaginous, as well as the osseous components, of the developing carpal and tarsal bones and therefore may be helpful in predating the radiographic changes. Ultrasound appears to contribute little to the diagnosis and may be misleading. Exclusion of other conditions, particularly juvenile idiopathic arthritis, is important in making the diagnosis. MRI can be useful in excluding an inflammatory arthropathy, and suggesting the diagnosis of carpal-tarsal osteolysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1097-1101
Number of pages5
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007


  • Arthritis, Juvenile
  • Carpal Bones
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Elbow Joint
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Growth Plate
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Joint Diseases
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Osteolysis, Essential
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tarsal Bones

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