Friday, July 6, 2012

Celery-stick sign

Abnormal alternating dense (sclerotic) and not so dense (lucent) bone at the ends (metaphysis) of the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) can occur following infection of the developing baby (via an infected mother) with the rubella virus particularly during the first weeks of pregnancy.
These bands of alternating sclerotic and lucent bone are seen on radiographic - X-ray - images and they resemble celery sticks/stalks in look – celery-stick sign.
Vaccination of both females and males against the rubella virus helps prevent harmful effects of the rubella virus on the baby such as deafness, blindness, heart defects and other dreadful manifestations of the congenital rubella syndrome.
The celery-stick sign is not unique to congenital rubella.
Please also see salt and pepper retinopathy (click here).
de Mol AC, Vrancken S, Eggink AJ, Verduyn Lunel FM, Warris A. [The first newborn with congenital rubella syndrome during the rubella epidemic in The Netherlands in 2004/'05]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd, 2006 150(13):741-6.
Celery, rubella virus
3D animation of rubella virus - courtesy of Martin Gardiner

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