Nucl Med Mol Imaging.  2016 Jun;50(2):137-143. 10.1007/s13139-015-0381-x.

Correlation of Uptake Patterns on Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography/Computed Tomography (SPECT/CT) and Treatment Response in Patients with Knee Pain

  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Gachon University Gil Hospital, 21 Namdongdae-ro 774-gil, Namdong-gu, Incheon 405-760, Republic of Korea.,
  • 2Department of Orthopedics, Gachon University Gil Hospital, 21 Namdongdae-ro 774-gil, Namdong-gu, Incheon 405-760, Republic of Korea.


To determine whether treatment response in patients with knee pain could be predicted using uptake patterns on single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) images.
Ninety-five patients with knee pain who had undergone SPECT/CT were included in this retrospective study. Subjects were divided into three groups: increased focal uptake (FTU), increased irregular tracer uptake (ITU), and no tracer uptake (NTU). A numeric rating scale (NRS-11) assessed pain intensity. We analyzed the association between uptake patterns and treatment response using Pearson's chisquare test and Fisher's exact test. Uptake was quantified from SPECT/CT with region of interest (ROI) counting, and an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) calculated agreement. We used Student's t-test to calculate statistically significant differences of counts between groups and the Pearson correlation to measure the relationship between counts and initial NRS-1k1. Multivariate logistic regression analysis determined which variables were significantly associated with uptake.
The FTU group included 32 patients; ITU, 39; and NTU, 24. With conservative management, 64% of patients with increased tracer uptake (TU, both focal and irregular) and 36% with NTU showed positive response. Conservative treatment response of FTU was better than NTU, but did not differ from that of ITU. Conservative treatment response of TU was significantly different from that of (NTU OR 3.1; p=0.036). Moderate positive correlation was observed between ITU and initial NRS-11. Age and initial NRS-11 significantly predicted uptake.
Patients with uptake in their knee(s) on SPECT/CT showed positive treatment response under conservative treatment.


Knee; Pain; SPECT; Uptake; Response
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