Transient synovitis of the hip : is systematic radiological screening necessary for the detection of Perthes disease?

Journal: Acta Orthopaedica Belgica

Current imaging guidelines in Belgium advise a systematic X-ray screening of the hips after an episode of transient synovitis of the hip, in order to detect Perthes disease. The aim of this study was to analyze whether systematic radiological screening is necessary for all children or whether the X-ray indication could be guided by clinical symptoms. A retrospective single center study including all children with the diagnosis of transient synovitis of the hip between 2013 and 2018 was performed. 242 patients with the diagnosis of one or more transient synovitis episodes were included, 102 of whom underwent a follow up X-ray. Persistence or recurrence of symptoms were recorded for all patients, as well as the results of follow-up hip X-rays. 12 children did not remain symptom-free after the episode of transient synovitis. Of these patients 10 had a normal follow-up X-ray and 3 were diagnosed with Perthes disease. 1 patient of those 3 had a normal X-ray but was diagnosed with Perthes disease on MRI. Of the children which remained symptom-free after the episode of transient synovitis, none were diagnosed with Perthes disease afterwards. A follow-up X-ray to exclude Perthes disease after a diagnosis of transient hip synovitis appears to be necessary only in patients with persistent or recurrent symptomatology.

Charles Edouard Heylen, ierre-Louis Docquier, ana Dumitriu

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