Nucl Med Mol Imaging.  2009 Aug;43(4):253-258.

18F-Fluoride-PET in Skeletal Imaging

  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Bundang CHA General Hospital, School of Medicine, CHA University, Sungnam, Korea.


Bone scintigraphy using 99mTc-labeled phosphate agents has long been the standard evaluation method for whole skeletal system. However, recent shortage of 99mTc supply and advanced positron emission tomography (PET) technology evoked the attention to surrogate radiopharmaceuticals and imaging modalities for bone. Actually, fluorine-18 (18F) was the first bone seeking radiotracer before the introduction of 99mTc-labeled agents even though its clinical application failed to become pervasive anymore after the rapid spread of Anger type gamma camera systems in early 1970s. However, rapidly developed PET technology made us refocus on the usefulness of 18F as a PET tracer. Early study comparing 18F-Na PET scan and planar bone scintigraphy reported that PET has higher sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of metastatic bone lesions than planar bone scan. Subsequent reports comparing between PET and both planar and SPECT bone image also revealed better results of PET scan in similar study groups. Rapid clinical application of PET/CT also accumulated considerable amount of experiences in skeletal evaluation and this modality is known to have better diagnostic power than stand alone PET system as well as bone scan. Furthermore 18F-Na PET/CT revealed better or at least equal results in detection of primary and metastatic bone lesions compared with CT and MRI. Therefore, it is obvious that 18F-Na PET/CT has potential to become new imaging modality for practical skeletal evaluation so continuous and careful evaluation of this modality and radiopharmaceutical must be required.


18F-Na; PET; PET/CT; bone scintigraphy; skeletal system

MeSH Terms

Gamma Cameras
Positron-Emission Tomography
Sensitivity and Specificity
Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
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