Vol. 1 No. 2 (2015)
Research Article

The Promising Role of Dynamic 18F-NaF PET-CT in Diagnosing Symptomatic Joint Prosthesis

Olu Adesanya
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, England
Pedro Foguet
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Clifford Bridge Road, 31 Walsgrave, Coventry, CV2 2DX
Charles Hutchinson
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, England
Published December 25, 2015


Our purpose was to establish proof of principle case study for the use of dynamic 18F-NaF PET-CT in the assessment of knee and hip prostheses. Approval was granted by the research ethics committee and informed
consent was obtained. This is a case study investigating the role of dynamic 18F NaF PET-CT in a patient with ilateral knee prostheses (1 symptomatic/painful and 1 asymptomatic). Both knees were studied with dynamic 18F-NaF PET-CT technique to demonstrate the different pattern of uptake in normal/asymptomatic joint as well as painful joints with aseptic loosening. In addition, a knee aspirate was obtained from the symptomatic knee and serum C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sediment rate levels as well as a peripheral white cell count were
obtained in addition to 12 month clinical follow up. Images were obtained with multi-sequential dynamic image acquisition in list mode using GE Healthcare® volume imaging protocol (ViP) after an intravenous injection of 250 MBq 18F-NaF. The images were interpreted as normal, loosening or septic loosening based on the graphical pattern of tracer uptake produced at the bone-prosthesis interface. A final diagnosis was made by a combination of joint aspiration microbiology and clinical follow-up for 1 year; in addition to C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sediment rate levels as well as peripheral white cell count. NaF PET results were compared with 3-phase dynamic bone scan results and plain radiographs. The degree of uptake in the symptomatic joint exceeded background
levels and also levels of uptake in the asymptomatic knee. The pattern of uptake and curve slope in both the asymptomatic and symptomatic joints matched the pattern of uptake in our hypothesis. Dynamic 18F-NaF PET-CT is a useful imaging modality for assessing painful joint prosthesis. It can differentiate between asymptomatic joints and aseptic loosening. However, more work is required for the detection of septic loosening.