Nuclear Medicine Imaging of Shoulder Injuries

  • S. A. EshuisEmail author


As participation in sports is increasing during the last decades, the amount of sports injuries, including those of the shoulder, has grown as well. The shoulder consists of several articulations, which makes it difficult to localise the lesion in the painful shoulder. Nuclear imaging techniques, possibly combined with CT, may be useful in the diagnostic process. Most often bone scintigraphy is used, which shows higher uptake at places with increased bone metabolism. Bone scintigraphy can be used for the diagnosis of several shoulder injuries: rotator cuff pathology, adhesive capsulitis, tendinopathy/enthesopathy, (stress) fractures, muscle injuries and osteoarthritis. Using single-photon emission computerised tomography (SPECT), three-dimensional images of the shoulder can be obtained. SPECT can be combined with a CT, thereby combining early functional changes with anatomic information. Positron emission tomography with 18F-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG-PET), visualising glucose metabolism, can also be used, as increased uptake of 18F-FDG in joints is associated with inflammatory and degenerative disorders. Other, more rarely used, techniques are arthroscintigraphy and immunoglobulin scintigraphy.


Rotator Cuff Stress Fracture Humeral Head Bone Scintigraphy Adhesive Capsulitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons


Computed tomography




Human immunoglobulin


Methylene diphosphonate


Positron emission tomography


Single-photon emission computed tomography


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineMedical Center LeeuwardenLeeuwardenThe Netherlands

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