Advanced imaging techniques may enable early diagnosis and monitoring of therapy in various rheumatic diseases. To prevent irreversible tissue damage, inflammatory rheumatic disease must be diagnosed and treated in pre-clinical stages, requiring highly sensitive detection techniques. Positron emission tomography (PET) provides highly sensitive, quantitative imaging at a molecular level, revealing the important pathophysiological processes underlying inflammation. This review provides an overview of the current utility of 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET/computed tomography (CT) in patients with active rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, adult-onset Still's disease, relapsing polychondritis, immunoglobulin G4-related disease, large-vessel vasculitis, Wegener's granulomatosis, polymyositis, and dermatomyositis. We also discuss the role of FDG-PET/CT in the diagnosis and monitoring of these diseases.