Rheumatic disorders comprise a number of diseases that range from benign, mildly symptomatic degenerative disease to severe systemic disorders such as giant-cell vasculitis with dramatic consequences such as acute blindness. The former is relatively common, whereas the latter is rare. In between, commonly encountered disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and the various spondyloarthritides, with or without peripheral enthesitis, are daily challenges for the caring physician. Clinical evaluation is of utmost importance and is constantly described under the form of specialist guidelines in all parts of the world. Objective assessment of inflammatory arthritis and related disorders is of interest both for the care of the individual patient and for the assessment of the effects of the many novel experimental therapies proposed in this field, most of them being very expensive. High-resolution ultrasound, CT and spectral CT, MRI using various sequences, and molecular imaging using either gamma camera imaging (including SPECT-CT) or PET-CT are all proposed for a better assessment of these diseases. This review focuses on the several nuclear medicine techniques that are or may become useful to helping provide better patient care in this field and is mainly oriented to inflammatory rheumatic disorders, excluding mechanical degenerative diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging