In type 2 diabetes, there is a common complication of decreased ability to heal from even minor infections due to reduced blood circulation and nerve damage, thus leading to foot infection which is an alarming health concern.
A new hybrid imaging technique with dual imaging agents has proved to be very critical and valuable tool for accurate diagnosis and determination of treatment for a host of diabetes-related foot diseases.
A three-year study conducted by a team of researchers from the nuclear medicine, orthopedics, and vascular surgery divisions of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York have used single photon emission tomography and computed tomography (SPEC/CT) in 23 diabetic patients who underwent 57 studies. The patients underwent multiple molecular imaging scans of different imaging agents to detect the presence of any bone infection, soft tissue infection, a combination of bone and soft tissue infection or other bony diseases.
An extra bone marrow scan was conducted in case of suspected mid- or hind-foot bone infection. The dual-agent SPECT/CT results were found to be highly accurate for the diagnosis of foot infection. The multiple imaging scan results have determined the kind of treatment or therapy thus leading to a sort of conservative management and procedures that have literally saved limbs which would have otherwise been lost in almost 84 percent of cases.
This study was presented at the 57th Annual Meeting of SNM at Salt Lake City, Utah. SNM is a renowned international scientific and medical organization set up solely to create public awareness about what molecular imaging is all about and how it helps patients with the best health care possible. Molecular imaging is cutting edge technology which brings about a new dimension to diagnosis, bringing about change in the way common and yet, devastating diseases are understood and treated.