Multidetector CT of the spine in multiple myeloma: comparison with MR imaging and radiography

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2002 Jun;178(6):1429-36. doi: 10.2214/ajr.178.6.1781429.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare multidetector CT (MDCT) of the thoracic and lumbar segments of the spine with MR imaging and conventional radiography for bone lesion detection and for evaluating the risk of vertebral fracture in multiple myeloma.

Subjects and methods: Eighteen patients with multiple myeloma stage III (according to the criteria of Durie and Salmon) underwent MDCT, conventional radiography, and MR imaging of the lumbar and thoracic spine. MDCT was performed using a standard protocol with no contrast material. Source images were reconstructed using an effective slice thickness of 3 mm with an overlapping reconstruction increment (0.8 mm). Secondary coronal and sagittal multiplanar reformations were exclusively used for establishing the diagnosis. Findings were compared with those of MR imaging and conventional radiography.

Results: In all patients, coronal and sagittal multiplanar reformations depicted the extent of osseous destruction and provided detailed information about osseous infiltration and potential bone instability. Compared with conventional radiography, an additional 24 affected vertebrae, 15 additional vertebral fractures, and six vertebrae at further risk of fracture were detected on MDCT. Compared with MR imaging, three additional endangered vertebrae were detected on MDCT. MR imaging alone would have lead to an understaging of five (27.8%) of 18 patients. Using combined radiography and MR imaging, disease in three (16.7%) of 18 patients would have been understaged.

Conclusion: MDCT seems to be preferable to conventional radiography in evaluating bone destruction in multiple myeloma. In combination with MR imaging, detailed information for staging these tumors is obtained. For the initial staging in patients with multiple myeloma, MDCT in combination with MR imaging seems to be the method of choice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*