Objective: This work reports on musculoskeletal uptake of ¹⁸F-FPRGD₂, targeting the integrin αvβ3, in patients who had undergone ¹⁸F-FPRGD₂ positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (PET/CT) for oncologic purposes.
Methods: Whole-body ¹⁸F-FPRGD₂ PET/CT images of 62 cancer patients were retrospectively reviewed to detect foci of musculoskeletal ¹⁸F-FPRGD₂ uptake. For 37 patients, a FDG PET/CT performed in clinical settings was available. In each joint with an abnormal uptake, the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) was estimated.
Results: A total of 260 musculoskeletal foci of ¹⁸F-FPRGD₂ uptake were detected. Most common sites of uptake were joints and discs (n = 160; 61.5%), entheses (osteotendinous and osteoligamentous junctions; n = 55; 21.2%) and recent fractures (n = 18; 6.9%). In addition, 27 (10.4%) miscellaneous foci were detected. Out of the 146 lesions for which a FDG PET was available, 63% showed both ¹⁸F-FPRGD₂ and FDG uptake, 33.6% did not show FDG avidity and 3.4% showed only FDG uptake. The uptake intensity of the 92 lesions positive with ¹⁸F-FPRGD₂ and FDG was similar with both radiopharmaceuticals, but the target-to-background (blood pool or muscle) ratios were significantly higher with ¹⁸F-FPRGD₂ than with FDG (p < 0.0001).
Conclusion: The ¹⁸F-FPRGD₂ uptake in joints, spine degenerative diseases and tendons was highly prevalent in our population. Up to one-third of ¹⁸F-FPRGD₂ foci showed no FDG uptake suggesting that ¹⁸F-FPRGD₂ signal may not be related to inflammatory angiogenesis only.
Keywords: Discopathy; Integrin; Joint; Osteoarthritis; PET; RGD.