Nuclear medicine imaging of diabetic foot infection: results of meta-analysis

Nucl Med Commun. 2006 Oct;27(10):757-64. doi: 10.1097/01.mnm.0000230065.85705.b3.


Background and aim: Osteomyelitis of the foot is the most commonly encountered complication in diabetic patients. Nuclear medicine techniques are usually complementary to radiology in the diagnosis of foot infections; they play an important role in various clinical situations. The aim of this study was to develop a practical guideline to describe the radiopharmaceuticals to be used for different clinical conditions and different aims in diabetic foot infection.

Methods: In this study, we reviewed 57 papers (published between 1982 and 2004; 50 original papers and seven reviews) that described the imaging of the diabetic foot and examined a total of 2889 lesions. We performed data analysis to establish which imaging technique could be used as a 'gold standard' to diagnose infection, evaluate the extent of disease and monitor the efficacy of therapy.

Results and conclusion: We provide a guideline to assist in the selection of the optimal radiopharmaceuticals for different clinical conditions and different aims.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Decision Trees
  • Diabetic Foot / diagnosis*
  • Diabetic Foot / pathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Osteomyelitis / diagnosis
  • Osteomyelitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiology / methods*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals