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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2014 Jun;202(6):W521-31. doi: 10.2214/AJR.13.11833.

FDG PET/CT of primary bone tumors.

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  • 11 Division of Diagnostic Imaging, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 1273, Houston, TX 77030.



Numerous primary bone tumors are encountered on (18)F-FDG PET/CT, and many are FDG avid. The degree of FDG uptake in bone tumors does not necessarily reflect malignant potential. In conjunction with radiographs, evaluation of morphologic characteristics on the CT portion of PET/CT scans is important for characterization of the lesions. FDG PET/CT has been found to be useful for staging and has also been found to reflect prognosis in some primary bone malignancies. The purpose of this article is to familiarize the reader with topics regarding FDG PET/CT and both malignant and benign primary bone tumors.


FDG uptake alone is not adequate for characterizing primary bone tumors, and morphologic evaluation is an important factor in the interpretation of PET/CT scans. After diagnosis, FDG avidity and morphologic features can play an important role in staging and determining response to therapy. On completion of this article, readers should have an improved ability to evaluate the FDG uptake and CT morphologic features of malignant and benign primary bone tumors. Readers should also have a better understanding of the potential role of FDG PET/CT in the management of patients with osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma.

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