Common Nuclear Imaging Techniques (15,7577)

RadiotracerTargetMain infectious indicationsHalf-lifeAdministered activity (MBq)AdvantagesDisadvantages
Bone scan (99mTc-MDP)Active bone formationPBI*6 h500–1,110SensitiveLow specificity
SOMLow costSusceptible to confounders (surgery, trauma)
Late PJIAccessible
Septic arthritisGood spatial resolution
Necrotizing external otitisLow radiation dose
WBC scan (99mTc-WBC)LeukocytesPBI (violated bone)6 h185–370Sensitive, especially for neutrophilic induced inflammationDepends on host immune system; sensitivity decreases after antibiotic treatment
Diabetic footBlood exposure
Early PJIRequires sterility
Infective endocarditisTime consuming
Vascular graft infectionPoor resolution
FUOHigh radiation dose
67Ga-citrateTransferrinSOM78.3 h150–220Suitable for immunodeficiencyDelayed imaging
Bacterial siderophoresOpportunistic infectionsPoor resolution
Neutrophilic lactoferrinFUOHigh radiation dose
Necrotizing external otitisExpensive
Requires cyclotron
18F-FDG PETEnergy consumptionPBI*110 min185–740SensitiveDepends on host immune system
SOMSuitable for acute and chronic inflammationExpensive
Infective endocarditisHigh resolutionLacks widespread availability
Vascular graft infectionRelatively short scanSusceptible to confounders (e.g., surgery)
FUOSUV quantificationRequires patient preparation
High radiation dose
  • * Nonviolated bone.

  • Violated bone.

  • MDP = methylene diphosphonate; PBI = peripheral bone infection; SOM = spinal osteomyelitis; PJI = prosthetic joint infection.