Comparison of White Blood Cell Scintigraphy, FDG PET/CT and MRI in Suspected Diabetic Foot Infection: Results of a Large Retrospective Multicenter Study

Chiara Lauri, Andor W J M Glaudemans, Giuseppe Campagna, Zohar Keidar, Marina Muchnik Kurash, Stamata Georga, Georgios Arsos, Edel Noriega-Álvarez, Giuseppe Argento, Thomas C Kwee, Riemer H J A Slart, Alberto Signore

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Diabetic foot infections (DFIs) represent one of the most frequent and disabling morbidities of longstanding diabetes; therefore, early diagnosis is mandatory. The aim of this multicenter retrospective study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of white blood cell scintigraphy (WBC), 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography ((18F) FDG PET/CT), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in patients with suspected DFI. Images and clinical data from 251 patients enrolled by five centers were collected in order to calculate the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of WBC, FDG, and MRI in diagnosing osteomyelitis (OM), soft-tissue infection (STI), and Charcot osteoarthropathy. In OM, WBC acquired following the European Society of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) guidelines was more specific and accurate than MRI (91.9% vs. 70.7%, p < 0.0001 and 86.2% vs. 67.1%, p = 0.003, respectively). In STI, both FDG and WBC achieved a significantly higher specificity than MRI (97.9% and 95.7% vs. 83.6%, p = 0.04 and p = 0.018, respectively). In Charcot, both MRI and WBC demonstrated a significantly higher specificity and accuracy than FDG (88.2% and 89.3% vs. 62.5%, p = 0.0009; 80.3% and 87.9% vs. 62.1%, p < 0.02, respectively). Moreover, in Charcot, WBC was more specific than MRI (89.3% vs. 88.2% p < 0.0001). Given the limitations of a retrospective study, WBC using EANM guidelines was shown to be the most reliable imaging modality to differentiate between OM, STI, and Charcot in patients with suspected DFI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1645
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 30-May-2020

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