18F-Sodium fluoride PET-CT visualizes disease activity in chronic nonbacterial osteitis in adults

Anne T. Leerling, Frits Smit, Zita Späth, Ana Navas Cañete, Lioe-Fee de Geus-Oei, Alina van de Burgt, Olaf M. Dekkers, Wouter van der Bruggen, Natasha M. Appelman-Dijkstra, More Authors

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Chronic nonbacterial osteitis (CNO) is a rare disease spectrum, which lacks biomarkers for disease activity. Sodium fluoride-18 positron emission tomography/computed tomography ([18F]NaF-PET/CT) is a sensitive imaging tool for bone diseases and yields quantitative data on bone turnover. We evaluated the capacities of [18F]NaF-PET/CT to provide structural and functional assessment in adult CNO. A coss-sectional study was performed including 43 adult patients with CNO and 16 controls (patients referred for suspected, but not diagnosed with CNO) who underwent [18F]NaF-PET/CT at our expert clinic. Structural features were compared between patients and controls, and maximal standardized uptake values (SUVmax [g/mL]) were calculated for bone lesions, soft tissue/joint lesions, and reference bone. SUVmax was correlated with clinical disease activity in patients. Structural assessment revealed manubrial and costal sclerosis/hyperostosis and calcification of the costoclavicular ligament as typical features associated with CNO. SUVmax of CNO lesions was higher compared with in-patient reference bone (mean paired difference: 11.4; 95% CI: 9.4–13.5; p < .001) and controls (mean difference: 12.4; 95%CI: 9.1–15.8; p < .001). The highest SUVmax values were found in soft tissue and joint areas such as the costoclavicular ligament and manubriosternal joint, and these correlated with erythrocyte sedimentation rate in patients (correlation coefficient: 0.546; p < .002). Our data suggest that [18F]NaF-PET/CT is a promising imaging tool for adult CNO, allowing for detailed structural evaluation of its typical bone, soft-tissue, and joint features. At the same time, [18F]NaF-PET/CT yields quantitative bone remodeling data that represent the pathologically increased bone turnover and the process of new bone formation. Further studies should investigate the application of quantified [18F]NaF uptake as a novel biomarker for disease activity in CNO, and its utility to steer clinical decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberziad007
Number of pages11
JournalJBMR Plus
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • biomarker
  • bone inflammation
  • bone turnover
  • CNO
  • osteitis
  • osteomyelitis
  • PET/CT


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