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J Nucl Med. 1985 Oct;26(10):1140-3.

Clinical significance of solitary rib lesions in patients with extraskeletal malignancy.


A retrospective review of 2,851 bone scans done at a cancer center over a period of 4 yr revealed 41 patients having a single abnormality in a rib as their first abnormal scintigraphic finding. The scan findings in these cases were correlated with clinical, scintigraphic, and radiographic follow-up to ascertain their etiology and course. Four lesions (9.8%) were due to malignant disease, 16 (39%) were associated with benign fractures demonstrated on x-ray, 11 (27%) were associated with primary or postoperative radiation therapy. The remaining ten patients (24.2%) with normal x-rays and no association with radiation therapy or subsequent development of metastasis were assigned to benign etiology. This experience suggests that solitary rib lesions in cancer patients are uncommon and are most frequently (90%) associated with benign etiology.

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