New agents for scintigraphy in rheumatoid arthritis
- Cite this article as:
- de Bois, M.H.W., Pauwels, E.K.J. & Breedveld, F.C. Eur J Nucl Med (1995) 22: 1339. doi:10.1007/BF00801624
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Radiopharmaceuticals have been used as investigative tools for the detection and treatment of arthritis activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) since the 1950s. Against the background of the pathophysiology of RA, the current status of joint scintigraphy and possible future developments are reviewed. Both non-specific (radiolabelled leucocytes and technetium-99m labelled human immunoglobulin) and specific targeting radiopharmaceuticals (including radiolabelled antibodies) are considered. The use of radiopharmaceuticals in the detection of arthritis activity has the advantages of allowing direct imaging of joints by means of whole-body scintigraphy and of joints that are difficult to assess clinically or radiographically. Promising results have been obtained with radiolabelled anti-CD4 and anti-E-selectin antibodies and with somatostatin receptor imaging, but more data are available regarding99mTc-IgG scintigraphy, which differentiates between the various degrees of arthritis activity and thus facilitates the choice of antirheumatic drug. Newer promising approaches to the imaging of RA include the use of radiolabelled J001 and cytokines, though studies on these are limited at present.