A comparison of the diagnostic value of MRI and 18 F-FDG-PET/CT in suspected spondylodiscitis.
de Rooy, JWJ
de Geus-Oei, L-F
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Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT scan) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in diagnosing spondylodiscitis and its complications, such as epidural and paraspinal abscesses.Methods From January 2006 to August 2013 patients with a clinical suspicion of spondylodiscitis, with an infection, or with fever of unknown origin were retrospectively included if 18 F-FDG-PET/CT and MRI of the spine were performed within a 2-week time span. Imaging results were compared to the final clinical diagnosis and follow-up data were collected.Results Sixty-eight patients were included of whom 49 patients were diagnosed with spondylodiscitis. MRI showed an overall sensitivity of 67 % and specificity of 84 %. Diagnostic accuracy was 58 %, when MRI was performed within 2 weeks after the start of symptoms and improved to 82 %, when performed more than 2 weeks after onset of symptoms. 18 F-FDG-PET/CT showed a sensitivity of 96 % and a specificity of 95 %, with no relation to the interval between the scan and the start of symptoms.Conclusions As compared to MRI, 18 F-FDG-PET/CT has superior diagnostic value for detecting early spondylodiscitis. After 2 weeks both techniques perform similarly.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Sensitivity and Specificity
Aged, 80 and over
Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
Translational Molecular Imaging
License start date
Infection, 2017, 45 (1), pp. 41 - 49