Mechanisms responsible for the course of the rheumatic diseases have not been fully explained. Among the available tools that may help in studies of these mechanisms is molecular imaging—especially techniques emphasized by nuclear medicine. In contrast to CT, MRI or US examination that show only structural pathologies, radionuclide methods allow imaging of functional changes that occur in the course of the disease and usually are featured by a very high specificity. Recent advances in nuclear medicine allowed to develop target-specific agents making it possible to reveal molecular level disturbances that take place on the course of the ongoing disease. The fundamental radionuclide studies include PET, SPECT, and classic scintigraphy. Technological advances (especially hybrid modalities) allow obtaining images of much better resolution and allow combining both structural and functional data.
Part of the book: Newest Updates in Rheumatology