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Non-opaque soft tissue foreign body: sonographic findings

Afshin Mohammadi1*, Mohammad Ghasemi-Rad2 and Maryam Khodabakhsh3

Author Affiliations

1 Radiology Department, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran

2 Student research committee, School of Medicine, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran

3 School of Medicine, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran

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BMC Medical Imaging 2011, 11:9  doi:10.1186/1471-2342-11-9

Published: 10 April 2011



Soft tissue foreign bodies are a common cause of orthopedic consultation in emergency departments. It is difficult to confirm their existence because conventional radiology only detects radio-opaque foreign bodies. Sonography can be a useful diagnostic method. The aim of this study is to evaluate diagnostic accuracy of sonography in detection and localization of non-opaque foreign bodies.


We evaluated 47 patients with suspected foreign body retention in soft tissues by 10 MHz linear array transducer. A single radiologist performed all examinations with 6 years' experience in musculoskeletal Sonography. We detected and localized the presence of the foreign body in the soft tissue as guidance for facilitating the surgery.


We detected soft tissue foreign body in 45 cases as hyperechoic foci. Posterior acoustic shadowing was seen in 36 cases and halo sign was seen in 5 cases due to abscess or granulation tissue formation. Surgery was performed in 39 patients and 44 foreign bodies were removed.


Sonography is a useful modality in detection and localization of radiolucent foreign bodies in soft tissue which can avoid misdiagnosis during primary emergency evaluation.