Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Assessments in a Mouse Model of Implant-Related Bone and Joint Staphylococcus aureus Infection Articles uri icon

publication date

  • May 2023

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 11


  • 3


  • 11

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2165-0497


  • Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone, associated with an inflammatory process. Imaging plays an important role in establishing the diagnosis and the most appropriate patient management. However, data are lacking regarding the use of preclinical molecular imaging techniques to assess osteomyelitis progression in experimental models. This study aimed to compare structural and molecular imaging to assess disease progression in a mouse model of implant-related bone and joint infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus. In SWISS mice, the right femur was implanted with a resorbable filament impregnated with S. aureus (infected group, n = 10) or sterile culture medium (uninfected group, n = 6). Eight animals (5 infected, 3 uninfected) were analyzed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 1, 2, and 3 weeks postintervention, and 8 mice were analyzed with [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET)-computed tomography (CT) at 48 h and at 1, 2, and 3 weeks postintervention. In infected animals, CT showed bone lesion progression, mainly in the distal epiphysis, although some uninfected animals presented evident bone sequestra at 3 weeks. MRI showed a lesion in the articular area that persisted for 3 weeks in infected animals. This lesion was smaller and less evident in the uninfected group. At 48 h postintervention, FDG-PET showed higher joint uptake in the infected group than in the uninfected group (P = 0.025). Over time, the difference between groups increased. These results indicate that FDG-PET imaging was much more sensitive than MRI and CT for differentiating between infection and inflammation at early stages. FDG-PET clearly distinguished between infection and postsurgical bone healing (in uninfected animals) from 48 h to 3 weeks after implantation.


  • Biology and Biomedicine
  • Computer Science
  • Electronics
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • implant-related infection; molecular imaging; osteoarthritis; staphylococcus aureus