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18F FDG-PET/CT has poor diagnostic accuracy in diagnosing shoulder PJI

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PURPOSE: Chronic low-grade periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) of a shoulder replacement can be challenging to diagnose. 18F-FDG PET/CT is suggested as a modality to diagnose lower-limb PJI, but no studies on shoulder replacements exist. The aim of this study was therefore to determine the diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG PET/CT in diagnosing chronic PJI of the shoulder.

METHODS: Patients evaluated for a failed shoulder replacement during a 3-year period were prospectively included in the study. All patients underwent pre-operative 18F-FDG PET/CT, and were evaluated for signs of infection by three independent reviewers using shoulder-specific criteria. Interrater-agreement was calculated between the reviewers. If the patient had revision surgery, biopsy specimens were obtained and cultured with bacterial growth in the cultures serving as gold standard of infection.

RESULTS: A total of 86 patients were included in the study. Nine patients were 18F-FDG PET/CT positive for infection, with only three true positive. Using the gold standard, infection was diagnosed after revision surgery in 22 cases. All infections were chronic and caused by low-virulent microbes. The sensitivity of 18F-FDG PET/CT was 0.14 95% CI (0.03-0.36), specificity 0.91 95% CI (0.81-0.97), positive predictive value was 0.40 95% CI (0.15-0.71) and negative predictive value 0.71 95% CI (0.67-0.75). The inter-observer agreement was 0.56 (Fleiss' kappa), indicating moderate agreement of the visual FDG-PET evaluation using the shoulder-specific criteria.

CONCLUSION: 18F-FDG PET/CT has poor diagnostic accuracy in diagnosing low-grade PJI of the shoulder. 18F-FDG PET/CT cannot be recommended as a part of the routine preoperative workup to diagnose low-grade infection of a shoulder replacement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Volume46
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2013-2022
Number of pages10
ISSN1619-7070
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

ID: 59098435