Fusion and Healing Prediction in Posterolateral Spinal Fusion Using 18F-Sodium Fluoride-PET/CT

Caius M Constantinescu*, Michael K Jacobsen, Oke Gerke, Mikkel Ø Andersen, Poul F Høilund-Carlsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study measures the total graft of 18F-sodium fluoride (NaF) uptake in non-instrumented posterolateral lumbar fusion (niPLF) patients one month after surgery and correlates it with the difference in the clinical findings between the baseline and one year after surgery. The walking distance (WLK-D), visual analog scale of back pain (VAS-B), VAS score of leg pain (VAS-L), tandem test (TAN), Oswestry Disability Index questionnaire (ODI), and European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions questionnaire (EQ-5D) were assessed before surgery and one year after. The graft NaF uptake was analyzed quantitatively with a fixed threshold algorithm resulting in the total graft uptake (SUVtotal) and partial volume corrected SUVtotal (cSUVtotal). Only 4 out of 18 patients experienced fusion; they had an insignificantly lower median total graft uptakes, i.e., 1178 SUVtotal vs. 1224 SUVtotal (p = 0.73) and 1282 cSUVtotal vs. 1231 cSUVtotal (p = 0.35), respectively. Similarly, fused patients experienced insignificantly larger pain decreases, i.e., median VAS-B 4.3 vs. 3.8 (p = 0.92) and VAS-L -6.4 vs. -4.4 (p = 0.2). We found an insignificant trend for a lower NaF uptake and less pain in fused patients. The NaF uptake did not correlate with the chronological change in the clinical parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number226
Issue number4
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 16. Apr 2020


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