Role of radiography, MRI and FDG-PET/CT in diagnosing, staging and therapeutical evaluation of patients with multiple myeloma

S. Lütje, J. de Rooy, S. Croockewit, E. Koedam, W. Oyen and R. Raymakers

Department of Haematology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Dec, 2009



Multiple myeloma is a malignant B-cell neoplasm that involves the skeleton in approximately 80\% of the patients. With an average age of 60 years and a 5-years survival of nearly 45\% Brenner et al. (Blood 111:2516-2520,35) the onset is to be classified as occurring still early in life while the disease can be very aggressive and debilitating. In the last decades, several new imaging techniques were introduced.The aim of this review is to compare the different techniques such as radiographic survey, multidetector computed tomography (MDCT), whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (WB-MRI), fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-(FDG-PET) with or without computed tomography (CT), and 99mTc-methoxyisobutylisonitrile (99mTc-MIBI) scintigraphy. We conclude that both FDG-PET in combination with low-dose CT and whole-body MRI are more sensitive than skeleton X-ray in screening and diagnosing multiple myeloma. WB-MRI allows assessment of bone marrow involvement but cannot detect bone destruction, which might result in overstaging. Moreover,WB-MRI is less suitable in assessing response to the rapythan FDG-PET. The combination of PET with low-dose CT can replace the golden standard, conventional skeletal survey. In the clinical practise, this will result in upstaging,due to the higher sensitivity.