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J Urol. 2001 Dec;166(6):2126-8.

The diagnostic value of bone scan in patients with renal cell carcinoma.

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Department of Urology, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Japan.



Bone scan is performed as part of the evaluation of bone metastasis. We assessed the diagnostic value of bone scan in patients with renal cell carcinoma.


Bone scan was performed at presentation in 205 patients with confirmed renal cell carcinoma. Abnormal hot areas were further evaluated by x-ray, computerized tomography or surgery.


Of the 56 patients (27%) with an abnormal bone scan 32 (57%) had osseous metastatic lesions. Overall bone metastasis was present in 34 of the 205 patients (17%). Bone scan had 94% sensitivity and 86% specificity. Of the 124 patients with clinically localized, stages T1-2N0M0 disease exclusive of bone metastasis 6 (5%) had bone metastasis only, whereas 28 of 81 (35%) with locally advanced or metastatic disease had bone metastasis, including 12 (35%) who complained of bone pain and 19 (56%) who presented with other symptoms due to local tumor growth or metastasis at other sites. Three patients (9%) were asymptomatic. There was osseous metastasis without other metastasis, enlarged regional lymph nodes or bone pain in 7 patients, including 1 with stage T1b (2% of all with that stage), 2 with stage T2 (5%), 1 with stage T3a (4%), 1 with stage T3b (6%), 1 with stage T3c (14%) and 1 with stage T4 (6%) disease.


Bone scan may be omitted in patients with stages T1-3aN0M0 tumors and no bone pain because of the low proportion of missed cases with bone metastasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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