Clinical value of whole-body PET/CT in patients with active rheumatic diseases

Arthritis Res Ther. 2014;16(5):423. doi: 10.1186/s13075-014-0423-2.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Early Diagnosis
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rheumatic Diseases / classification
  • Rheumatic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18