Potential of PET-MRI for imaging of non-oncologic musculoskeletal disease
Early detection of musculoskeletal disease leads to improved therapies and patient outcomes, and would benefit greatly from imaging at the cellular and molecular level. As it becomes clear that assessment of multiple tissues and functional processes are often necessary to study the complex pathogenesis of musculoskeletal disorders, the role of multi-modality molecular imaging becomes increasingly important. New positron emission tomography-magnetic resonance imaging (PET-MRI) systems offer to combine high-resolution MRI with simultaneous molecular information from PET to study the multifaceted processes involved in numerous musculoskeletal disorders. In this article, we aim to outline the potential clinical utility of hybrid PET-MRI to these non-oncologic musculoskeletal diseases. We summarize current applications of PET molecular imaging in osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), metabolic bone diseases and neuropathic peripheral pain. Advanced MRI approaches that reveal biochemical and functional information offer complementary assessment in soft tissues. Additionally, we discuss technical considerations for hybrid PET-MR imaging including MR attenuation correction, workflow, radiation dose, and quantification.