The "SAPHO" syndrome a case report of a patient with unusual bone scan findings

Priyadarshani Bhosale, Bruce Barron, Lamk Lamki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The authors describe the clinical and bone scintigraphic findings of the SAPHO syndrome, which is characterized by synovitis, acne, palmoplantar pustulosis, hyperostosis, and osteitis. The case report illustrates the significance of bone scintigraphy in the diagnosis. It shows that Tc-99m MDP scanning can detect signs of arthritis not seen with other imaging methods, because the arthritis is inflammatory in nature and does not always cause bone erosion. Thus it is not visualized on plain radiographs. Knowledge of this disorder may help in the differential diagnosis of arthritis. Materials and Methods: Tc-99m MDP bone scintigraphy was used to diagnose arthritic changes. Whole-body and multiple delayed spot images were obtained in a 39-year-old diabetic, hypertensive woman who had tenderness in the plantar aspect of her heels. Swelling of the small and large joints of the feet, ankles, knees, hips, right sacroiliac joints, and shoulders was noted. She also had hydradenitis suppurativa and a history of a previous episode in which the arthritis improved after surgical treatment for the hydradenitis. Results: All active joint lesions were visualized on the bone scan, including the arthritis, which was not detected with other imaging methods. They were all well demonstrated in the bone scintiscan. The scan findings, along with the presence of hydradenitis, led to the correct diagnosis of SAPHO syndrome. Conclusion: Tc-99m MDP bone scanning may be helpful in diagnosing arthritis as associated with the SAPHO syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-621
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Nuclear Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Arthritis
  • Hydradenitis Suppurativa
  • SAPHO Syndrome
  • Tc-99m MDP Scintigram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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