99m Tc-albumin nanocolloid joint scintigraphy in rheumatoid arthritis patients who are in clinical remission - is remission real ?

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2010 May-Jun;28(3):360-4. Epub 2010 Jun 23.


Objectives: To make a comparison between the clinical data and the imaging results with 99mTc-nanocolloid scintigraphy in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients considered to be in remission.

Methods: Forty RA patients found to be in clinical remission according to the ACR and the EULAR (DAS28<2.6) criteria were studied. The group included 29 females and 11 males with a mean age of 60.8+/-13.5 years (range 22-86) and a mean disease duration of 13.4+/-7.7 years (range 2-23). The mean time of remission in the study group was 22.2+/-5.2 months (range 11-36). Each patient was given an intravenous injection of 555MBq of 99mTc-nanocalloid (NC). Spot views of the skeleton were taken and a SPECT-CT was done on the wrists and hands. A scan was considered positive when at least one of the hand joints showed increased tracer uptake.

Results: The 99mTc-nanocalloid scintigraphy was negative in 14 (35%) and positive for active joint disease in 26 (65%) patients. Twenty four out of the 26 patients with positive scan (92%) were sero-positive while those who had a negative scintigraphy were all sero-negative except one. No correlation was found between the type of treatment used, the time that elapsed from remission, or laboratory parameters (ESR CRP) and the scintigraphic results.

Conclusions: The clinical criteria used for remission in RA are not consistent with the actual inflammatory activity in the joints. These results are especially emphasised in the subgroup of sero-positive patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hand / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Remission Induction
  • Technetium Tc 99m Aggregated Albumin* / pharmacokinetics
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*
  • Wrist Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Young Adult


  • Technetium Tc 99m Aggregated Albumin
  • technetium Tc 99m nanocolloid