Stanford University researchers have presented a molecular imaging
procedure that is capable of focusing on sites of abnormal bone reaction, which
they say may help physicians provide more accurate diagnoses and appropriate
pain management for patients with implants or bone grafts.
The findings were presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicines
58th Annual Meeting, in San Antonio, according to a Society of Nuclear Medicine
press release. In the study, a combination of positron emission tomography and
CT (PET/CT), and F18 NaF an injected radiotracer that uses sodium
fluoride to target areas of high bone turnover and inflammation was used
to evaluate patients with back pain after spinal surgery.
With PET/CT, we can pinpoint the exact screw or rod that was loose
or failing, study author Andrew Quon, MD, stated in the release.
This eliminates unnecessary or erroneous hardware replacement surgeries
and provides a surgical map for patients who need further operations to treat
their chronic pain.
Quon and his team used PET/CT and F18 NaF to prospectively evaluate 20
patients with spinal pain and used the procedure at least 8 months
postoperatively in all cases. Twenty-four bone or tissue abnormalities were
found in 17 of the 20 patients. Twelve of the 20 patients ultimately received
exploratory surgery, with another four receiving local anesthetic nerve
In more than 85% of cases, the authors reported in the release, F18 NaF
PET/CT was able to identify the source of the patients pain. Structure of
the bone and physiological processes involved were highlighted, indicating
areas where injury and infection may be located.
- Quon A, Sprinz C, Rodrigues de Abreu M, et al. Integrated F18 NaF
PET/CT scanning for the evaluation of patients with chronic pain after spinal
surgery. Paper 457. Presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicines 58th
Annual Meeting. June 4-8, 2011. San Antonio.
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