Date: 14 Jul 2011

Evolving role of FDG PET imaging in assessing joint disorders: a systematic review

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Assessing joint disorders has been a relatively recent and evolving application of 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. FDG is taken up by inflammatory cells, particularly when they are active as part of an ongoing inflammatory process. Hence FDG PET has been employed to assess a wide array of arthritic disorders. FDG PET imaging has been investigated in various joint diseases for diagnostic purposes, treatment monitoring, and as a prognostic indicator as in other disorders. In some of the diseases the ancillary findings in FDG PET have provided important clues about the underlying pathophysiology and pathogenesis processes. While substantial promise has been demonstrated in a number of studies, it is clear that the potential utility of PET in this clinical realm far outweighs that which has been established to date.