Fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT of Arthritis in Rheumatic Diseases: A Pictorial Review.Radiographics. 2020 Jan-Feb; 40(1):223-240.R
Rheumatic diseases are various painful conditions that affect joints, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Arthritis is a typical condition of rheumatic disease. Although rheumatoid arthritis is a representative rheumatic disease, various diseases other than rheumatoid arthritis can also affect joints, and differential diagnosis of rheumatic diseases is often difficult owing to the similar clinical manifestations. However, accurate diagnosis is crucial for an appropriate treatment strategy. The utility of fluorine 18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT has been established, and it is widely used for assessing malignancies. In addition to accumulating in tumor cells, FDG also accumulates in inflammatory tissue, allowing FDG PET/CT to demonstrate arthritis. PET/CT allows evaluation of whole-body articular and extra-articular lesions in one examination, representing a key advantage over US and MRI, which allow assessment of only a few regions because of their limited field of view. Although FDG PET/CT is sensitive for detecting inflammatory lesions, the uptake itself is nonspecific; therefore, knowledge of characteristic uptake patterns is necessary to narrow the differential diagnosis in rheumatic disease. Furthermore, pathognomonic extra-articular findings such as vasculitis, skin lesions, lymphadenopathy, and chondritis play an important role in achieving accurate diagnosis. The authors present the FDG PET/CT appearances of (a) rheumatoid arthritis and allied disorders (polymyalgia rheumatica, remitting seronegative symmetrical synovitis with pitting edema, adult-onset Still disease), (b) spondyloarthritis (ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease arthritis, SAPHO [synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis, and osteitis] syndrome, chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis), and (c) miscellaneous systemic disorders with arthropathy (relapsing polychondritis, multicentric reticulohistiocytosis, amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, hemophilia). ©RSNA, 2020.