Diagnostic imaging of the diabetic foot: an EANM evidence-based guidance

Chiara Lauri, Edel Noriega-Álvarez, Riddhika M Chakravartty, Olivier Gheysens, Andor W J M Glaudemans*, Riemer H J A Slart, Thomas C Kwee, Frédéric Lecouvet, Emmanouil Panagiotidis, Jules Zhang-Yin, Jose Luis Lazaro Martinez, Benjamin A Lipsky, Luigi Uccioli, Alberto Signore

*Corresponding author voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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PURPOSE: Consensus on the choice of the most accurate imaging strategy in diabetic foot infective and non-infective complications is still lacking. This document provides evidence-based recommendations, aiming at defining which imaging modality should be preferred in different clinical settings.

METHODS: This working group includes 8 nuclear medicine physicians appointed by the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM), 3 radiologists and 3 clinicians (one diabetologist, one podiatrist and one infectious diseases specialist) selected for their expertise in diabetic foot. The latter members formulated some clinical questions that are not completely covered by current guidelines. These questions were converted into statements and addressed through a systematic analysis of available literature by using the PICO (Population/Problem-Intervention/Indicator-Comparator-Outcome) strategy. Each consensus statement was scored for level of evidence and for recommendation grade, according to the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (OCEBM) criteria.

RESULTS: Nine clinical questions were formulated by clinicians and used to provide 7 evidence-based recommendations: (1) A patient with a positive probe-to-bone test, positive plain X-rays and elevated ESR should be treated for presumptive osteomyelitis (OM). (2) Advanced imaging with MRI and WBC scintigraphy, or [ 18F]FDG PET/CT, should be considered when it is needed to better evaluate the location, extent or severity of the infection, in order to plan more tailored treatment. (3) In a patient with suspected OM, positive PTB test but negative plain X-rays, advanced imaging with MRI or WBC scintigraphy + SPECT/CT, or with [ 18F]FDG PET/CT, is needed to accurately assess the extent of the infection. (4) There are no evidence-based data to definitively prefer one imaging modality over the others for detecting OM or STI in fore- mid- and hind-foot. MRI is generally the first advanced imaging modality to be performed. In case of equivocal results, radiolabelled WBC imaging or [ 18F]FDG PET/CT should be used to detect OM or STI. (5) MRI is the method of choice for diagnosing or excluding Charcot neuro-osteoarthropathy; [ 18F]FDG PET/CT can be used as an alternative. (6) If assessing whether a patient with a Charcot foot has a superimposed infection, however, WBC scintigraphy may be more accurate than [ 18F]FDG PET/CT in differentiating OM from Charcot arthropathy. (7) Whenever possible, microbiological or histological assessment should be performed to confirm the diagnosis. (8) Consider appealing to an additional imaging modality in a patient with persisting clinical suspicion of infection, but negative imaging.

CONCLUSION: These practical recommendations highlight, and should assist clinicians in understanding, the role of imaging in the diagnostic workup of diabetic foot complications.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's18
TijdschriftEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 27-mrt.-2024


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