Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecular imaging pinpoints source of chronic back pain

Date:
June 16, 2011
Source:
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Summary:
A new study shows potential relief for patients who suffer chronic pain after back surgery. A molecular imaging procedure that combines functional and anatomical information about the body is able to zero in on the site of abnormal bone reaction and provide more accurate diagnoses and appropriate pain management for patients who have received hardware implants or bone grafts.

A study introduced at SNM's 58th Annual Meeting shows potential relief for patients who suffer chronic pain after back surgery. A molecular imaging procedure that combines functional and anatomical information about the body is able to zero in on the site of abnormal bone reaction and provide more accurate diagnoses and appropriate pain management for patients who have received hardware implants or bone grafts.

Related Articles


"With PET/CT we can pinpoint the exact screw or rod that was loose or failing. We can help doctors and patients accurately decide whether surgical and nonsurgical treatment is the best option," says Andrew Quon, MD, assistant professor of radiology and chief of clinical PET/CT for the molecular imaging program at Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. "This eliminates unnecessary or erroneous hardware replacement surgeries and provides a surgical map for patients who need further operations to treat their chronic pain."

Serious spinal instability and disease often necessitate the implantation of hardware such as plates, cages, rods and screws or bone grafts to support the spine. There are many reasons why patients experience pain after initial surgery, including hardware failure and infection, or both. Determining the source of pain can be difficult, especially when patients have complex medical histories. In this study, a combination of positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT) and F18 NaF, an injected radiotracer that uses sodium fluoride to target "hot spots" or areas of high bone turnover and inflammation during imaging, was used to evaluate patients with back pain after spinal surgery. This form of molecular imaging was shown to be highly accurate in determining the culprit of patient's chronic pain by highlighting both the structure of the bone and the physiological processes involved in inflammation, an indication of injury and infection.

For this prospective study, 20 patients presenting with spinal pain were evaluated with PET/CT using F18 NaF at least eight months after surgery. A total of 24 bone or tissue abnormalities were found in 17 of the 20 subjects. Of the original 20 patients, 12 received exploratory surgery and four participants received local anesthetic nerve blockade, a common and minimally invasive treatment that numbs the affected nerve, providing short-term pain management as an alternative to surgery. The research indicates that F18 NaF PET/CT is highly effective for the evaluation of pain after spinal surgery -- in more than 85 percent of cases, this form of molecular imaging was able to identify the exact source of patient's pain.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society of Nuclear Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society of Nuclear Medicine. "Molecular imaging pinpoints source of chronic back pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606131611.htm>.
Society of Nuclear Medicine. (2011, June 16). Molecular imaging pinpoints source of chronic back pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606131611.htm
Society of Nuclear Medicine. "Molecular imaging pinpoints source of chronic back pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606131611.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins