Comparing whole body 18F-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography and technetium-99m methylene diophosphate bone scan to detect bone metastases in patients with non-small cell lung cancer

Neoplasma. 2002;49(4):267-71.


Despite advances in morphological imaging, some patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are found to have non-resectable disease at surgery or die of recurrence within a year of surgery. At present, metastatic bone involvement is usually assessed using conventional technetium-99m methylene diophosphate (Tc-99m MDP) whole body bone scan (bone scan), which has a high sensitivity but a poor specificity. We have attempted to evaluate the usefulness of whole body positron emission tomography with 18F-2-deoxyglucose (FDG-PET) for the detection of malignant bone metastases of NSCLC, and to compare FDG-PET results with Bone Scan findings. Forty-eight patients with biopsy-proven NSCLC and suspected to have stage IV disease underwent whole body bone scan and FDG-PET to detect bone metastases. The final diagnoses of bone metastases were established by operative, histopathological findings or clinical follow-up longer than 1 year by additional radiographs or following FDG-PET/Tc-99m MDP bone scan findings showing progressively and extensively widespread bone lesions. A total of 138 bone lesions found on either FDG-PET or Tc-99m MDP bone scan were evaluated. Among the 106 metastatic and 32 benign bone lesions, FDG-PET and Tc-99m MDP bone scan could accurately diagnose 99 and 98, as well as 30 and 2 metastatic and benign bone lesions, respectively. Diagnostic sensitivity and accuracy of FDG-PET and Tc-99m MDP bone scan were 93.4% and 92.5%, as well as 93.5% and 72.5%, respectively. In conclusion, our data suggest that FDG-PET with the same sensitivity and a better accuracy than those of Tc-99m MDP bone scan to detect metastatic bone lesions in patients with biopsy-proven NSCLC and suspected to have stage IV disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / secondary
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods*
  • Whole-Body Irradiation / methods


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate