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REVIEW  PET/CT IMAGING IN AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS 

The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2022 September;66(3):194-205

DOI: 10.23736/S1824-4785.22.03463-X

Copyright © 2022 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The role of PET/CT in connective tissue disorders: systemic sclerosis, Sjögren’s syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus

Andrea GUARNERI 1, Elisabetta PERRONE 2, Silvia L. BOSELLO 3, Maria A. D’AGOSTINO 3, Lucia LECCISOTTI 1, 2

1 Unit of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Radiation Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy; 2 Section of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiological Sciences and Hematology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy; 3 Unit of Rheumatology, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy



Advanced imaging techniques are needed to help clinicians in the diagnosis, in the choice of the right time for therapeutic interventions or for modifications and monitoring of treatment response in patients with autoimmune connective tissue diseases. Nuclear medicine imaging, especially PET/CT and PET/MRI, may play an important role in detecting disease activity, assessing early treatment response as well as in clarifying the complex mechanisms underlying systemic sclerosis, Sjögren’s syndrome or systemic lupus erythematosus. In addition, [18F]FDG PET/CT may help in excluding or detecting coexisting malignancies. Other more specific radiopharmaceuticals are being developed and investigated, targeting specific cells and molecules involved in connective tissue diseases. Further larger studies with standardized imaging protocol and image interpretation are strongly required before including PET/CT in the diagnostic work-up of subsets of patients with autoimmune connective tissue diseases.


KEY WORDS: Positron emission tomography computed tomography; Fluorodeoxyglucose F18; Scleroderma, systemic; Sjögren’s syndrome; Lupus erythematosus, systemic

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