Denosumab Reduces Lesional Fluoride Skeletal Burden on Na[18F]F PET-CT in Patients With Fibrous Dysplasia/McCune-Albright Syndrome

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jul 13;106(8):e2980-e2994. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab212.


Context: The correlation between fibrous dysplasia/McCune-Albright syndrome (FD/MAS) skeletal disease burden on Na[18F]F positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) and serum bone turnover markers (BTMs) was recently described. The effect of treatment on lesional fluoride burden in FD/MAS is unknown.

Objective: To investigate treatment response measurements in patients with FD/MAS who underwent Na[18F]F-PET-CT and treatment with antiresorptives.

Methods: Observational case series at an academic center of expertise for rare bone diseases. Fifteen consecutive patients were observed with FD/MAS with baseline and follow-up Na[18F]F-PET-CT parameters of healthy bone and FD lesions, BTMs, and pain scores at start of denosumab (n = 8) treatment and non-denosumab patients (n = 7). On Na[18F]F-PET-CT the volumetric measures of FD burden (fluoride tumor volume [FTV]) and "fraction affected skeleton" (FAS) represented the portion of the skeleton affected. This was correlated with BTMs and pain.

Results: Disease activity decreased significantly, with FTV 361 cm3 to 97 cm3 (P = .018) in denosumab-treated patients, but not in non-denosumab patients (P = .249). Serum P1NP and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) decreased significantly: 82 ng/mL vs 55 ng/mL (P = .023) and 119 IU/L vs 84 IU/L (P = .020), respectively. In denosumab-treated patients pain scores improved leading to pain medication reduction. This correlated with lesional uptake, but healthy bone activity did not change. BTMs and FTV correlated positively (P1NP r = 0.730, P < .001; and ALP r = 0.406, P = .006), as did change in BTMs and FTV: P1NP (P = 0.032) and ALP (P = 0.024). FAS strongly correlated with treatment-induced decrease in ALP (P = .027) and P1NP (P = .009).

Conclusion: Na[18F]F-PET-CT captured treatment-induced lesional changes which correlated with BTMs and pain reduction. Therefore Na[18F]F-PET-CT can be used as an objective local parameter of response to denosumab treatment in FD/MAS.

Keywords: McCune–Albright; Sodium fluoride PET-CT; bisphosphonates; denosumab; fibrous dysplasia; follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / pharmacology
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Denosumab / pharmacology
  • Denosumab / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Fibrous Dysplasia, Polyostotic / diagnostic imaging
  • Fibrous Dysplasia, Polyostotic / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Denosumab