Molecular imaging in MSK radiology: Where are we going?

Matteo Bauckneht, Stefano Raffa, Giacomo Leale, Virginia Sambuceti, Matteo De Cesari, Maria Isabella Donegani, Cecilia Marini, Eleni Drakonaki, Davide Orlandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Musculoskeletal (MSK) pathologies are one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. However, treatment options and understanding of pathogenetic processes are still partially unclear, mainly due to a limited ability in early disease detection and response to therapy assessment. In this scenario, thanks to a strong technological advancement, structural imaging is currently established as the gold-standard of diagnosis in many MSK disorders but each single diagnostic modality (plain films, high-resolution ultrasound, computed tomography and magnetic resonance) still suffer by a low specificity regarding the characterization of inflammatory processes, the quantification of inflammatory activity levels, and the degree of response to therapy. To overcome these limitations, molecular imaging techniques may play a promising role. Starting from the strengths and weaknesses of structural anatomical imaging, the present narrative review aims to highlight the promising role of molecular imaging in the assessment of non-neoplastic MSK diseases with a special focus on its role to monitor treatment response.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109737
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Molecular imaging
  • Musculoskeletal diseases
  • Positron Emission Tomography
  • Response assessment
  • Scintigraphy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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