Purpose: To relate [18F]fluoride uptake on PET with abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and conventional radiography (CR) in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients. Methods: Ten clinically active AS patients (female 6/10, age 38 ± 11 years) were included, and both spine and SI-joints were examined. PET scans were dichotomously scored for enhanced [18F]fluoride uptake, MRI scans were scored for fatty lesions, erosions, ankylosis, and bone marrow edema (BME), and CR was scored for erosions, syndesmophytes, and ankylosis. The overlap of lesions across all modalities was evaluated through univariate and multivariate analyses using a generalized mixed model. Results: In the spine, 69 lesions with enhanced [18F]fluoride uptake, 257 MRI lesions, and 88 CR lesions were observed. PET lesions were mostly located in costovertebral and facet joints, outside the field of view (FOV) of the MRI and CR. However, PET lesions inside the FOV of MRI and CR partially showed no abnormality on MRI and CR. In lesions with abnormalities on multiple modalities, both univariate and multivariate analysis showed that PET activity had the strongest association with BME on MRI and ankylosis on CR. In the SI joints, 15 lesions (75%) with PET uptake were found, with 87% showing abnormalities on MRI and CR. Conclusion: [18F]fluoride PET lesions are often found outside the scope of MRI and CR, and even in the same location show only partial overlap with abnormalities on MRI (especially BME) and CR (especially ankylosis). This suggests that [18F]fluoride PET partially visualizes aspects of AS separate from MRI and CR, providing novel information. Clinical trial registration: NL43223.029.13 registered at 02-05-2013. https://www.toetsingonline.nl/to/ccmo_search.nsf/fABRpop?readform&unids=C1257BA2002CC066C1257B4E0049A65A.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1359
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging
Issue number5
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Imaging
  • MRI
  • PET
  • [ F]Fluoride
  • [F]Fluoride

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