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Inflammatory musculoskeletal diseases represent a group of chronic and disabling conditions that evolve from a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors that cause perturbations in innate and adaptive immune responses. Understanding the pathogenesis of inflammatory musculoskeletal diseases is, to a large extent, derived from preclinical and basic research experiments. In vivo molecular imaging enables us to study molecular targets and to measure biochemical processes non-invasively and longitudinally, providing information on disease processes and potential therapeutic strategies, e.g. efficacy of novel therapeutic interventions, which is of complementary value next to ex vivo (post mortem) histopathological analysis and molecular assays. Remarkably, the large body of preclinical imaging studies in inflammatory musculoskeletal disease is in contrast with the limited reports on molecular imaging in clinical practice and clinical guidelines. Therefore, in this EANM-endorsed position paper, we performed a systematic review of the preclinical studies in inflammatory musculoskeletal diseases that involve radionuclide imaging, with a detailed description of the animal models used. From these reflections, we provide recommendations on what future studies in this field should encompass to facilitate a greater impact of radionuclide imaging techniques on the translation to clinical settings.
Aarntzen, E. H. J. G., Noriega-Álvarez, E., Artiko, V., Dias, A. H., Gheysens, O., Glaudemans, A. W. J. M., … Terry, S. Y. A. (2021). EANM recommendations based on systematic analysis of small animal radionuclide imaging in inflammatory musculoskeletal diseases. EJNMMI Research. Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13550-021-00820-8