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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jul 2023 - 21 Jul 2023

Basic Science

Human Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Neuroimaging

Arthritis, Inflammation/Inflammatory

2023 Jun 23

Diagnostics (Basel)




F-FDG and F-NaF PET/CT Global Assessment of Large Joint Inflammation and Bone Turnover in Rheumatoid Arthritis.


Reddy N, Raynor WY, Werner TJ, Baker JF, Alavi A, Revheim ME


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) involves chronic inflammation of synovial joints, causing pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. F-sodium fluoride (NaF) is a PET tracer whose uptake reflects bone turnover, while F-fludeoxyglucose (FDG) shows glucose metabolism and can serve as a marker for inflammation. The aim of this study is to determine the feasibility of calculating the FDG and NaF mean standardized uptake value (SUVmean) in the knee joint, hip joint, and sacroiliac (SI) joint of RA patients and to determine their association with patient characteristics. Prospective FDG-PET/CT as well as NaF-PET/CT imaging was performed on 18 RA patients. The global SUVmean was calculated on FDG-PET/CT and NaF-PET/CT images using a semiautomated CT-based method of segmentation. FDG and NaF uptake were found to be significantly correlated in the knee (r = 0.77, < 0.001), but not in the hip and SI joints. In the knee, both NaF SUVmean and FDG SUVmean were significantly correlated with body weight, BMI, leptin, and sclerostin levels ( < 0.05). NaF SUVmean was significantly positively correlated with BMI and leptin for both the hip and SI joints ( < 0.05). No significant correlation was observed between either PET parameter and age, height, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and interleukins 1 and 6 (IL-1 and IL-6); however, FDG was correlated with inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and patient global visual analogue scale (VAS-PtGlobal) in some joints. In this study, both FDG and NaF uptake were quantified in large joints of patients with RA using CT segmentation. NaF and FDG SUVmean were correlated with clinical variables related to body weight and adiposity, suggesting that degenerative joint disease may play a larger role in influencing the uptake of these tracers in large joints than RA disease activity. FDG and its correlation with markers of inflammation such as CRP and VAS-PtGlobal suggests that this tracer may serve as a more specific marker for RA disease activity than NaF. Larger prospective and longitudinal data are necessary to gain a better understanding of the roles of FDG and NaF in evaluating RA joint activity in these joints.