Radionuclide imaging in the diagnosis and management of orthopaedic disease

Wellington Hsu*, Thomas M. Hearty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Nuclear medicine imaging is often used in the diagnosis and management of several orthopaedic conditions. Bone scintigraphy measures gamma ray emission to detect the distribution of an injected radiolabeled tracer on multiple image projections. In general, this imaging modality has relatively high sensitivity but low specificity in the diagnosis of occult fractures, bone tumors, metabolic bone disease, and infection. Positron emission tomography measures tissue metabolism and perfusion by detecting short half-life positron ray emission of an injected radiopharmaceutical tracer. Historically, positron emission tomography has been used only to monitor bone metastasis and aid in the diagnosis of osteomyelitis; however, this technology has recently been applied to other orthopaedic conditions for which current imaging modalities are insufficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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