Value of whole body MRI and dynamic contrast enhanced MRI in the diagnosis, follow-up and evaluation of disease activity and extent in multiple myeloma

Julie C Dutoit, Matthias A Vanderkerken, Koenraad L Verstraete
European Journal of Radiology 2013, 82 (9): 1444-52

PURPOSE: To evaluate the significance of dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) and whole body MRI (WB-MRI) in the diagnosis, prognosis and assessment of therapy for patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and multiple myeloma (MM).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The retrospective study includes 219 patients providing 463 WB-MRI and DCE-MRI investigations for the subgroups MGUS (n=70), MM active disease (n=126; this includes 70 patients with new diagnosis of MM, according to the International Staging System (ISS): 41.4% ISS stage I, 20.0% ISS stage II, 7.1% ISS stage III, 31.4% insufficient for staging; and 56 patients with '(re-)active disease': 16.07% relapse, 32.14% progressive disease and 51.79% stable disease) and MM remission (n=23; 60.87% complete remission, 17.39% very good partial remission and 21.74% partial remission). Investigations of patients with hereditary multiple exostoses (n=5), neurofibromatosis (n=7) and healthy persons (n=9) were added as control subjects (n=21). WB-MRI evaluation was done by evaluating thirteen skeletal regions, providing a 'skeletal score'. DCE-MRI images of the spine, were analyzed with regions-of-interest and time-intensity-curves (TIC).

RESULTS: All TIC parameters can significantly differentiate between the predefined subgroups (p<0.001). One hundred days after autologous stem cell transplantation a 75% decrease of the slope wash-in value (p<0.001) can be seen. A cubic regression trend between 'skeletal score' and slope wash-in (adj.R(2)=0.412) could demonstrate a significant increase bone marrow perfusion if MM affects more than 10 skeletal regions (p<0.001), associated with a poorer prognosis (p<0.001).

CONCLUSION: DCE-MRI evaluation of the spine is useful for diagnosis of MM, follow-up after stem cell transplantation and evaluation of disease activity. A combined evaluation with WB-MRI and DCE-MRI provides additional micro-vascular information on the morphologic lesions and could help categorize patients with MM in two different groups to offer useful therapeutic and prognostic advise.

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