Therapy of osteomyelitis and osteonecrosis very often requires surgery. Proper preoperative radiological evaluation of a lesion’s localization and extent is a key in planning surgical bone resection. This study aims to assess the differences between single-photon emission computed tomography and cone beam computed tomography when detecting an osteomyelitis/osteonecrosis lesion as well as the lesion’s qualitative parameters, extent, and localization.
Material and methods
Identification of candidates was performed retrospectively following a search for patients with histologically or clinically confirmed osteomyelitis or osteonecrosis. They were matched with a list of patients whose disease extent and localization had been evaluated using single-photon emission computed tomography and cone beam computed tomography in the context of clinical investigations. Subsequently, two experienced examiners for each imaging technique separately performed de novo readings. Detection rate, localization, extent, and qualitative parameters of a lesion were then compared.
Twenty-one patients with mandibular osteomyelitis and osteonecrotic lesions were included. Cone beam computed tomography detected more lesions than single-photon emission computed tomography (25 vs. 23; 100% vs. 92%). Cone beam computed tomography showed significantly greater depth, area, and volume, whereas length and width did not differ statistically between the two groups.
Both single-photon emission computed tomography and cone beam computed tomography could sensitively detect osteomyelitis/osteonecrosis lesions. Only single-photon emission computed tomography showed metabolic changes, whereas cone beam computed tomography seemed to display anatomic morphological reactions more accurately. The selection of the most adequate three-dimensional imaging and the correct interpretation of preoperative imaging remains challenging for clinicians.
In daily clinical practice, three-dimensional imaging is an important tool for evaluation of osteomyelitis/osteonecrosis lesions. In this context, clinicians should be aware of differences between single-photon emission computed tomography and cone beam computed tomography when detecting and assessing an osteomyelitis/osteonecrosis lesion, especially if a surgical bone resection is planned.
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We want to thank the Clinical Trials Unit Bern for their support in data management and statistics.
The work was supported by the Swiss Association of Dentomaxillofacial Radiology (SADMFR; Grant Number 17/02).
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Malina-Altzinger, J., Klaeser, B., Suter, V.G. et al. Comparative evaluation of SPECT/CT and CBCT in patients with mandibular osteomyelitis and osteonecrosis. Clin Oral Invest 23, 4213–4222 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00784-019-02862-8
- Single-photon emission computed tomography
- Cone beam computed tomography