Clin Orthop Surg.  2010 Sep;2(3):167-172. 10.4055/cios.2010.2.3.167.

Evaluation of Shoulder Disorders by 2-[F-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chosun University College of Medicine, Gwangju, Korea.


Although flourine-18-flourodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) has a limitation for localizing anatomical structures, combining it with computed tomography (CT) has made it more efficient for overcoming such limitations. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of PET/CT for evaluating diseases of the shoulder.
Retrospective examination was performed on 25 patients who underwent FDG-PET/CT scanning. All the patients were over 60 years of age, and they were evaluated both clinically and radiologically for shoulder pain. The study period was from May, 2006 to May, 2008. One of the patients had metastatic lesion in a shoulder and this patient was excluded from the study, so the total number of subjects in the study was finally 24 patients.
PET/CT showed 67% sensitivity, 73% specificity, a positive predictive value of 60%, a negative predictive value of 79%, 27% false positivity and 33% false negativity concerning shoulder pain. PET/CT showed negative finding in 4 cases that were successfully treated by operative treatment (rotator cuff tear [RCT], 3 cases; impingement syndrome, 1 case). Negative findings were also noted in 6 cases in which the pain subsided after conservative treatment (RCT, 1 case; suspected RCT, 2 cases; impingement syndrome, 3 cases). All the patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis had positive findings on PET/CT scanning.
PET/CT is a useful adjunct to the existing imaging modalities to assess functional and pathophysiologic processes and at a very early stage, and so PET/CT can help physicians make better preoperative and postoperative decisions on treatment.


Shoulder; Positron emission tomography; Computed tomography; Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
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