Anatomy of the sacroiliac joints in children and adolescents by computed tomography

Pediatric Rheumatology Online Journal
Anna Zejden, Anne Grethe Jurik


Diagnosing sacroiliitis by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in children/adolescents can be difficult due to the growth-related changes. This study analyzed the normal osseous anatomy of the sacroiliac joints (SIJ) in a juvenile population using computed tomography (CT). The anatomy of the SIJ was retrospectively analyzed in 124 trauma patients aged 9 months - <18 years by CT, based on 2 mm slices in axial, semi-axial and semi-coronal planes. The following anatomical features were recorded: intersegmental fusion of the sacral vertebral segments 1-3 (S1-S3), ossified nuclei (antero-superior at S1, lateral to the intervertebral spaces and lateral to S1 and S2) and joint facet defects larger than 3 mm. Fusion of S1/S2 started at the age of 6 years and was complete after the age of 13 years in most girls and after the age of 14 years in most boys. Fusion of S2/S3 started at the age of 9 years, but could remain incomplete up to 18 years in both genders. Ossified nuclei antero-lateral at S1 and/or in the joint space were observed until the age of 18 years and occurred in 77% of individuals ≥13 years with intraarticular localization in 64% of girls and 60% of boys. Joint facet defects >3 mm occurred in 21 children/adolescents (17%) loc...Continue Reading


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