Diagnostic value of quantitative SPECT/CT in assessing active sacroiliitis in patients with axial spondylarthritis and/or inflammatory low back pain
E Ornilla 1 , L Sancho, C Beorlegui, M J Ribelles, D Aquerreta, E Prieto, J M Bondia, M J Cuadrado, J Á Richter
Background: The diagnostic accuracy of bone scintigraphy (BS) increases with SPECT/CT imaging. It would therefore be appropriate to reassess the diagnostic utility of scintigraphy in sacroiliitis with axial spondyloarthritis (SpA). The aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic performance of MRI, SPECT/CT and a combination of both techniques in sacro-iliitis, and to evaluate the correlation between quantitative SPECT/CT indices and quantitative MRI inflammatory lesion scores.
Methods: Thirty-one patients with active SpA and 22 patients with inflammatory low back pain underwent MRI and SPECT/CT of the sacroiliac joints. The diagnostic accuracy of both techniques was calculated using clinical diagnosis as the gold standard. The correlation between MRI and SPECT/CT was calculated by comparing the SPECT/CT activity indices and the Berlin/SPARCC scoring systems for MRI.
Results: The sensitivity and specificity values in quantitative SPECT/CT, taking the sacroiliac/promontory ratio of >1.36 as the cut-off value, were close to those from MRI published in the literature. The combination of both techniques increased sensitivity while maintaining high specificity. There was a moderate correlation between SPECT/CT and MRI total scores. This correlation was improved by using solely the MRI inflammation scores.
Conclusion: Quantitative SPECT/CT showed better diagnostic accuracy than planar scintigraphy and showed a moderate correlation with MRI scores in active sacroiliitis. The combination of both tests increased the diagnostic accuracy. Quanti-tative SPECT/CT could play a relevant role in the diagnosis of active sacroiliitis in patients with high a suspicion of SpA and a negative/inconclusive MRI test or in patients with whom MRI studies cannot be carried out.