Q. Could constant cough cause rib injury?

Answered by
Dr. Vivek Chail
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 05, 2017 and last reviewed on: Apr 07, 2021

Hi doctor,

I have annual breast MRI for a history of breast cancer. I had one last week, and the breasts looked normal. But, there was some linear enhancement on two ribs. I had rib x-rays after and they were normal. I am having a bone scan next week. My question is that prior to this MRI I had a horrible cough, cold and felt pain in my ribs from the constant coughing. Could this enhancement be related to that?

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • It is possible that you might have had a slight injury to your ribs due to coughing. It is not a complete fracture, though.
  • The MRI scan picked up these lines of bone edema and therefore, linear areas of enhancement showing acute stress fracture are possible from a cough.
  • It will help to know if your vitamin D levels are low and if your bones are weak.

For further information consult a radiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/radiologist

Hi doctor,

Could the MRI show inflammation like costochondritis or a rib bruise? The report also said that the anterior rib enhancement had an associated T2 hyperintense signal. What does this mean?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • The rib enhancement and associated T2 hyperintensity means that the part of the rib is having good vascular supply and shows bone edema.
  • Inflammation like Tietze syndrome (costochondritis) or rib bruise from repeated coughing can cause the above features.

For further information consult a radiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/radiologist


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