Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the additional value of single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) over whole-body planar bone scintigraphy and SPECT in prostate cancer patients in terms of diagnostic confidence, inter-reviewer agreement and the possible impact on the clinical management.
Methods: This was a retrospective review of 40 consecutive prostate cancer patients (mean age 71 years) who underwent (99m)Tc-methylene diphosphonate (MDP) whole-body planar bone scintigraphy, SPECT and SPECT/CT between April 2006 and April 2008. The images were evaluated by two independent reviewers; inter-reviewer agreement was evaluated using a weighted kappa score. Each focus of abnormal increased tracer uptake was recorded using a 4-point diagnostic confidence scale. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.
Results: Fifty lesions on planar bone scintigraphy in the 40 patients were evaluated. On reporting the planar study and SPECT scans, reviewers rated 61% of lesions as equivocal. On reporting the SPECT/CT scans only 8% of lesions were rated as equivocal, 24% were rated as malignant and 68% as benign. Weighted kappa scores for inter-reviewer agreement were 0.43 for bone scintigraphy, 0.56 for SPECT and 0.87 for SPECT/CT. All were significant at p < 0.0001. Follow-up imaging confirmed the SPECT/CT diagnoses in 14 patients.
Conclusion: The addition of SPECT/CT resulted in a significant reduction of equivocal reports; a definitive diagnosis was given in the majority of the patients due to the improved diagnostic confidence compared to planar or SPECT imaging alone in prostate cancer patients with suspected bone metastases.