DOI: 10.1007/s00259-016-3549-4Pages: 461-467

Radiosynoviorthesis in hemophilic arthropathy: pathologic blood pool imaging on pre-therapeutic bone scintigraphy is not a predictor of treatment success

1. University Duisburg-Essen, Department of Nuclear Medicine

2. University Hospital, Department of Nuclear Medicine

3. University of Bonn, Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery

4. University of Bonn, Department of Experimental Hematology and Transfusion Medicine

5. Saarland University, Department of Nuclear Medicine

Correspondence to:
Samer Ezziddin
Tel: +49 6841 16 22201




Increased articular 99mTc MDP uptake on blood pool imaging (BPI) of patients with rheumatologic conditions is indicative of active inflammatory changes, and has been suggested as a strong predictor of response to radiosynoviorthesis (RSO). In this study, we aimed to assess the value of pretreatment BPI positivity (i.e. scintigraphic-apparent hyperemia) for successful RSO in hemophilic arthropathy.


Thirty-four male patients with painful hemophilic arthropathy underwent RSO after failure of conservative treatment. Treated joints comprised the knee in eight, elbow in five, and ankle in 21 patients. Pretreatment triple-phase bone scintigraphy showed hyperemic joints (pathologic BPI) in 17 patients, whereas 17 patients had no increased tracer uptake on BPI. Response to RSO was evaluated 6 months post-treatment by measuring changes in intensity of arthralgia according to the visual analog scale (VAS), bleeding frequency, and range of motion. The association between hyperemia (pathologic BPI) and treatment outcome was examined using nonparametric tests for independent samples.


Clinically evident pain relief occurred in 26 patients (76.5 %), and the mean VAS decreased from 7.7 ± 1.1 to 4.6 ± 2.7 (p < 0.001). Joint bleeding frequency (hemarthrosis) decreased from 4.5 ± 0.6 to 2.1 ± 0.4 during the first 6 months after RSO (p < 0.001). For both parameters (pain relief and bleeding frequency), patients experienced a similar benefit from RSO regardless of pretreatment BPI: arthralgia (p = 0.312) and frequency of hemarthrosis (p = 0.396). No significant improvement was observed for range of motion, but it was significantly more restricted in hyperemic joints both before (p = 0.036) and after treatment (p = 0.022).


Hemophilic arthropathy can be effectively treated with RSO regardless of pre-therapeutic BPI. Patients in whom articular hyperemia is not detectable by scintigraphy may have similar (outstanding) outcomes, and thus should not be excluded from treatment.

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  • Accepted: Jun 30, 2016
  • Online: Oct 28, 2016

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