Whole-body low-dose CT recognizes two distinct patterns of lytic lesions in multiple myeloma patients with different disease metabolism at PET/MRI

Renato Zambello, Filippo Crimì, Albana Lico, Gregorio Barilà, Antonio Branca, Annamaria Guolo, Cristiano Varin, Roberto Vezzaro, Lucia Checuz, Vanna Scapin, Tamara Berno, Marco Pizzi, Alberto Ponzoni, Ercole De Biasi, Stefania Vio, Gianpietro Semenzato, Pietro Zucchetta, Carmelo Lacognata
Annals of Hematology 2019, 98 (3): 679-689
We evaluated differences in density and 18 F-FDG PET/MRI features of lytic bone lesions (LBLs) identified by whole-body low-dose CT (WB-LDCT) in patients affected by newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM). In 18 MM patients, 135 unequivocal LBLs identified by WB-LDCT were characterized for inner density (negative or positive Hounsfield unit (HU)), where negative density (HU < 0) characterizes normal yellow marrow whereas positive HU correlates with tissue-like infiltrative pattern. The same LBLs were analyzed by 18 F-FDG PET/DWI-MRI, registering DWI signal with ADC and SUV max values. According to HU, 35 lesions had a negative density (- 56.94 ± 31.87 HU) while 100 lesions presented positive density (44.87 ± 23.89 HU). In seven patients, only positive HU LBLs were demonstrated whereas in eight patients, both positive and negative HU LBLs were detected. Intriguingly, in three patients (16%), only negative HU LBLs were shown. At 18 F-FDG PET/DWI-MRI analysis, negative HU LBLs presented low ADC values (360.69 ± 154.38 × 10-6  mm2 /s) and low SUV max values (1.69 ± 0.56), consistent with fatty marrow, whereas positive HU LBLs showed an infiltrative pattern, characterized by higher ADC (mean 868.46 ± 207.67 × 10-6  mm2 /s) and SUV max (mean 5.04 ± 1.94) values. Surprisingly, histology of negative HU LBLs documented infiltration by neoplastic plasma cells scattered among adipocytes. In conclusion, two different patterns of LBLs were detected by WB-LDCT in MM patients. Both types of lesions were indicative for active disease, although only positive HU LBL were captured by 18 F-FDG PET/DWI-MRI imaging, indicating that WB-LDCT adds specific information.

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