Pilot prospective evaluation of 99mTc-MDP scintigraphy, 18F NaF PET/CT, 18F FDG PET/CT and whole-body MRI for detection of skeletal metastases

Andrei Iagaru, Phillip Young, Erik Mittra, David W Dick, Robert Herfkens, Sanjiv Sam Gambhir
Clinical Nuclear Medicine 2013, 38 (7): e290-6

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare 99mTc-MDP bone scanning, 18F NaF PET/CT, 18F FDG PET/CT, and whole-body MRI (WBMRI) for detection of known osseous metastases.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This prospective pilot trial (September 2007-April 2009) enrolled 10 participants (5 men, 5 women, 47-81 years old) diagnosed with cancer and known osseous metastases. 18F NaF PET/CT, 18F FDG PET/CT, and WBMRI were performed within 1 month for each participant.

RESULTS: The image quality and evaluation of extent of disease were superior by 18F NaF PET/CT compared to 99mTc-MDP scintigraphy in all patients with skeletal lesions and compared to 18F FDG PET/CT in 3 of the patients with skeletal metastases. 18F NaF PET/CT showed osseous metastases where 18F FDG PET/CT was negative in another 3 participants. Extraskeletal metastases were identified by 18F FDG PET/CT in 6 participants. WBMRI with the combination of iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetry and least-squares estimation, short tau inversion recovery, and diffusion-weighted imaging pulse sequences showed fewer lesions than 18F NaF PET/CT in 5 patients, same number of lesions in 2 patients, and more lesions in 1 patient. WBMRI showed fewer lesions than 18F FDG in 3 patients and same lesions in 6 patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Our pilot phase prospective trial demonstrated superior image quality and evaluation of skeletal disease extent with 18F NaF PET/CT compared to 99mTc-MDP scintigraphy and 18F FDG PET/CT, as well as the feasibility of multisequence WBMRI. In addition, 18F FDG PET/CT provided valuable soft-tissue information that can change disease management. Further evaluation of these findings using the recently introduced PET/MRI scanners is warranted.


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