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11C-choline vs. 18F-FDG PET/CT in assessing bone involvement in patients with multiple myeloma

Cristina Nanni, Elena Zamagni, Michele Cavo, Domenico Rubello, Paola Tacchetti, Cinzia Pettinato, Mohsen Farsad, Paolo Castellucci, Valentina Ambrosini, Gian Carlo Montini, Adil Al-Nahhas, Roberto Franchi, Stefano Fanti
World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2007 June 20, 5: 68
17584499

BACKGROUND: Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a B cell neoplasm causing lytic or osteopenic bone abnormalities. Whole body skeletal survey (WBSS), Magnetic resonance (MR) and 18F-FDG PET/CT are imaging techniques routinely used for the evaluation of bone involvement in MM patients.

AIM: As MM bone lesions may present low 18F-FDG uptake; the aim of this study was to assess the possible added value and limitations of 11C-Choline to that of 18F-FDG PET/CT in patients affected with MM.

METHODS: Ten patients affected with MM underwent a standard 11C-Choline PET/CT and an 18F-FDG PET/CT within one week. The results of the two scans were compared in terms of number, sites and SUVmax of lesions.

RESULTS: Four patients (40%) had a negative concordant 11C-Choline and 18F-FDG PET/CT scans. Two patients (20%) had a positive 11C-Choline and 18F-FDG PET/CT scans that identified the same number and sites of bone lesions. The remaining four patients (40%) had a positive 11C-Choline and 18F-FDG PET/CT scan, but the two exams identified different number of lesions. Choline showed a mean SUVmax of 5 while FDG showed a mean SUVmax of 3.8 (P = 0.042). Overall, 11C-Choline PET/CT scans detected 37 bone lesions and 18F-FDG PET/CT scans detected 22 bone lesions but the difference was not significant (P = 0.8).

CONCLUSION: According to these preliminary data, 11C-Choline PET/CT appears to be more sensitive than 18F-FDG PET/CT for the detection of bony myelomatous lesions. If these data are confirmed in larger series of patients, 11C-Choline may be considered a more appropriate functional imaging in association with MRI for MM bone staging.

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