Bone scintigraphy, although quite sensitive to detect skeletal lesions, has a comparatively low specificity. Hybrid-cameras combining single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and spiral-CT offer the opportunity to correlate scintigraphic information with high-quality visualization of morphology in one session. This may lead to an improvement in diagnostic accuracy and anatomic lesion localization. We present 11 patients, who underwent SPECT/CT of the feet (n=10) and hands (n = 1). The examinations were performed due to pain in foot or hand with the following suspected clinical diagnoses: arthrosis (n=1); fracture (n=3); osteomyelitis (n=4); reflex dystrophia (n=1); and, pain of unclear origin (n=2). All patients underwent SPECT/CT hybrid imaging using a dual-headed SPECT camera integrated with a 2-slice spiral CT scanner in one gantry. SPECT, CT, and SPECT/CT were evaluated independently from each other with respect to main diagnosis, anatomic lesion localization, and detection of a possible additional diagnosis. SPECT/CT improved lesion localization in 8 of 11 patients (73%) in comparison to SPECT alone, and in 4 of 11 patients (36%) in comparison to CT alone. Diagnostic accuracy was improved in 4 of 11 patients (36%) in comparison to either SPECT or CT alone. In conclusion, skeletal SPECT/CT improves diagnostic accuracy and lesion localization of orthopedic disorders in the feet and hands. The obtained results encouraged extensive studies to further investigate the potential gain in diagnostic accuracy brought about by SPECT/spiral-CT hybrid imaging in orthopedic disorders of the peripheral extremities.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.