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Spina ventosa (“wind-filled sail”) refers to the end-stage radiographic appearance of tuberculosis dactylitis: Cystic expansion of the short tubular bones with bone destruction. 

Tuberculous dactylitis is the painless tuberculous involvement of the fingers and toes and is more common in children. It begins with fusiform soft-tissue swelling with or without periostitis. 

Differential considerations include: pyogenic or fungal infections, leukemia, sarcoidosis, hemoglobinopathies, hyperparathyroidism, and syphilis. 

By Dr. Tushar Mehta


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