18F-FDG PET-CT in rheumatoid arthritis patients tapering TNFi: reliability, validity and predictive value
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the reliability and validity of fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET-CT scanning (FDG-PET) in RA patients with low disease activity tapering TNF inhibitors (TNFis) and its predictive value for successful tapering or discontinuation. METHODS: Patients in the tapering arm of the Dose REduction Strategies of Subcutaneous TNFi study, a randomized controlled trial of TNFi tapering in RA, underwent FDG-PET before tapering (baseline) and after maximal tapering. A total of 48 joints per scan were scored both visually [FDG-avid joint (FAJ), yes/no] and quantitatively [maximal and mean standardized uptake values (SUVmax and SUVmean)]. Interobserver agreement was calculated in 10 patients at baseline. Quantitative and visual FDG-PET scores were investigated for (multilevel) association with clinical parameters both on a joint and patient level and for the predictive value at baseline and the change between baseline and maximal tapering (Δ) for successful tapering and discontinuation at 18 months. RESULTS: A total of 79 patients underwent FDG-PET. For performance of identification of FAJs on PET, Cohen's κ was 0.49 (range 0.35-0.63). For SUVmax and SUVmean, intraclass correlation coefficients were 0.80 (range 0.77-0.83) and 0.96 (0.9-1.0), respectively. On a joint level, swelling was significantly associated with SUVmax and SUVmean [B coefficients 1.0 (95% CI 0.73, 1.35) and 0.2 (0.08, 0.32), respectively]. On a patient level, only correlation with acute phase reactants was found. FDG-PET scores were not predictive of successful tapering or discontinuation. CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative FDG-PET arthritis scoring in RA patients with low disease activity is reliable and has some construct validity. However, no predictive values were found for FDG-PET parameters for successful tapering and/or discontinuation of TNFi.