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Eur Radiol. 2006 May;16(5):1005-14. Epub 2006 Feb 4.

Whole-body MRI in the detection of bone marrow infiltration in patients with plasma cell neoplasms in comparison to the radiological skeletal survey.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University Hospital Freiburg, Hugstetter Strasse 55, 79106 Freiburg, Germany. gha@mrs1.ukl.uni-freiburg.de


To compare the diagnostic value of whole-body MRI versus radiological skeletal survey (RSS) in staging patients with plasma cell neoplasms (PCN) and to evaluate the possible therapeutic impact of the replacement of RSS by whole-body MRI. Fifty-four patients with PCN [multiple myeloma (MM), n=47; monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS), n=7] were studied by whole-body MRI and RSS in a monocenter prospective analysis from August 2002 to May 2004. The MRIs were performed using a rolling table platform "AngioSURF" for unlimited field of view with a 1.5-T system (Magnetom Sonata/Maestro Class, Siemens Medical Solutions, Erlangen, Germany). A coronal STIR sequence (TR5500-4230/TE102-94/TI160) was used for imaging of the different body regions, including the head, neck, thorax, abdomen, pelvis and upper and lower extremities. The RSS consisted of eight different projections of the axial and appendicular skeleton. In 41/54 (74%) patients, the results of the whole-body MRI and RSS were concordant. In 11/54 (20%) patients, both imaging techniques were negative. Bone involvement was observed in 30/54 (55%) patients; however, whole-body MRI revealed this more extensively than the RSS in 27/30 (90%) patients with concordant positive imaging findings. In 3/30 (10%) patients, both imaging techniques demonstrated a similar extent of bone marrow infiltration. In 10/54 (19%) patients, the whole-body MRI was superior to RSS in detecting bone marrow infiltration, whereas the RSS was negative. In 3/54 (6%) patients, the RSS was proven to be false positive by the clinical course, whereas the whole-body MRI was truly negative. Whole-body MRI is a fast and highly effective method for staging PCN patients by the use of a rolling table platform. Moreover, it is more sensitive and specific than RSS and reveals bone marrow infiltration and extensive disease more reliably. Therefore, whole-body MRI should be performed as an additional method of exactly staging PCN patients and - with more data in the field - may even prove to be an alternate and more sensitive staging procedure than RSS in PCN patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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