Preiser's disease: Identification of two patterns

David M. Kalainov*, Mark S. Cohen, Ronald W. Hendrix, Stephanie Sweet, Randall W. Culp, A. Lee Osterman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Purpose: A large series of patients with Preiser's disease was reviewed to compare 2 potentially different categories of this disorder: complete versus partial vascular impairment of the scaphoid bone as determined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Methods: Nineteen patients with Preiser's disease were identified retrospectively from 2 institutions. Using MRI criteria, 2 disease patterns were identified: diffuse necrosis and/or ischemia of the scaphoid (type 1 disease, 11 cases) and segmental vascular impairment of the scaphoid (type 2 disease, 8 cases). Risk factors for osteonecrosis, treatment methods, and serial radiographs were reviewed in all cases. Sixteen patients were examined for the purpose of this study at an average follow-up of 25 months. Results: MRI signal changes of necrosis and/or ischemia involved 100% of the scaphoid in type 1 cases and on average approximately 42% in type 2 cases (range, 33% to 66%). In type 1 cases, regardless of the treatment used, the scaphoid typically fragmented and collapsed. In type 2 cases, scaphoid architecture was altered minimally after similar treatment methods. A history of wrist trauma was significantly more common in type 2 cases, and the results of treatment were generally better in this group of patients (mean Mayo modified wrist scores, 86 vs 58 points). Conclusions: This study supports the concept of 2 patterns of scaphoid involvement in Preiser's disease. Type 1 cases are characterized by MRI signal changes of necrosis and/or ischemia involving the entire scaphoid bone. Patients in this group have a propensity for scaphoid deterioration. Type 2 cases have MRI signal changes involving only part of the scaphoid. These patients commonly report a history of wrist trauma, show fewer tendencies toward scaphoid fragmentation, and may have a more favorable clinical outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-778
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Aseptic necrosis scaphoid
  • Avascular necrosis scaphoid
  • Ischemic necrosis scaphoid
  • Osteochondritis dissecans scaphoid
  • Preiser's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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