COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Whole-body MR imaging with the use of parallel imaging for detection of skeletal metastases in pediatric patients with small-cell neoplasms: comparison with skeletal scintigraphy and FDG PET/CT

Jyoti Kumar, Ashu Seith, Atin Kumar, Raju Sharma, Sameer Bakhshi, Rakesh Kumar, Sandeep Agarwala
Pediatric Radiology 2008, 38 (9): 953-62
18636251

BACKGROUND: In pediatric patients with small-cell tumors, there is an increasing demand for accurate and early detection of skeletal, especially bone marrow, metastases as new treatment protocols are introduced. Whole-body MR imaging (WB-MR) and (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT (FDG PET/CT) are new promising imaging methods that can detect metastases before osteoblastic host response occurs, which is the basis for detection of metastases by skeletal scintigraphy (SSC).

OBJECTIVE: To assess the ability of WB-MR to detect marrow metastases in children with small-cell neoplasms and compare its performance with that of FDG PET/CT and SSC.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: During a 16-month period, 26 children and adolescents with histopathologically proven small-cell neoplasms underwent WB-MR, FDG PET/CT and Tc-phosphonate-based SSC in a random order within a 25-day period. Metastases were localized in relation to eight regions of the body.

RESULTS: WB-MR revealed metastases in 39 out of a total of 208 regions in 26 patients (sensitivity 97.5%, specificity 99.4%, positive predictive value 97.5%, negative predictive value 99.4%), SSC in 12 regions (sensitivity 30%, specificity 99.4%, PPV 92.3%, NPV 85.6%) and FDG PET/CT in 36 regions (sensitivity 90.0%, specificity 100%, PPV 100%, NPV 97.7%). Both WB-MR and FDG PET/CT showed excellent agreement (kappa) with the final diagnosis (96.9% and 93.6% respectively), whereas SSC showed only moderate agreement (39.6%).

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that WB-MR and FDG PET/CT studies are robust imaging modalities for screening for skeletal metastases, and are far more accurate than SSC. The lack of radiation is an additional advantage of WB-MR, especially in the pediatric population.

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