PET Scan: Nuclear Medicine Imaging in Myositis

  • Albert Selva-O’CallaghanEmail author
  • Albert Gil-Vila
  • Marc Simó-Perdigó
  • Ernesto Trallero-Araguás
  • Marcelo Alvarado-Cárdenas
  • Iago Pinal-Fernandez
Inflammatory Muscle Disease (I Lundberg and L Diederichsen, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Inflammatory Muscle Disease


Purpose of Review

Positron emission tomography (PET) combined with computed tomography (CT) has proven useful as a cancer screening technique in patients with inflammatory myopathy, mainly dermatomyositis. In this review, we focus on advances in this direction and other potential applications of PET/CT in patients with inflammatory myopathy.

Recent Findings

Cancer screening by PET/CT seems suitable and cost-effective in patients with myositis. It has also shown value as a hybrid technique for diagnosing myositis versus controls and could be of interest for differentiating between polymyositis and sporadic inclusion body myositis. Quantification of muscle activity by PET/CT seems reliable. Preliminary data suggest that it could also be used to diagnose and measure the activity of the disease in the lung.


PET/CT should be in the toolbox of physicians managing patients with myositis. The multiple applications of PET/CT include its value for cancer screening, measuring the activity of the disease in muscle, and helping to differentiate between myositis phenotypes. The possibility to diagnose and monitor inflammatory lung activity remains to be demonstrated in well-designed studies.


PET/CT Myositis Malignancy Activity Dermatomyositis Sporadic inclusion body myositis 



This work was supported by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (grant number PI15/02100).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Selva-O’Callaghan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Albert Gil-Vila
    • 1
  • Marc Simó-Perdigó
    • 2
  • Ernesto Trallero-Araguás
    • 3
  • Marcelo Alvarado-Cárdenas
    • 1
  • Iago Pinal-Fernandez
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Internal Medicine DepartmentVall d’Hebron General Hospital, Universitat Autónoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Nuclear Medicine DepartmentVall d’Hebron General HospitalBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Rheumatology Unit, Vall D’Hebron General Hospital, BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, BethesdaJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversitat Oberta de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain

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