Detection of vertebral metastases: comparison between MR imaging and bone scintigraphy

Radiographics. 1991 Mar;11(2):219-32. doi: 10.1148/radiographics.11.2.2028061.


In a double-blind, prospective study, the authors analyzed bone scintigrams and magnetic resonance (MR) images of the spine in 71 patients with histologically proved skeletal metastases. Bone scintigrams and MR images were separately reviewed by four independent observers. Bone scintigraphy permitted identification of 499 abnormal vertebrae and MR imaging, 818 abnormal vertebrae. MR imaging depicted additional abnormal vertebrae in 49 patients. The authors conclude that MR imaging is more sensitive than bone scintigraphy in detection of vertebral metastases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gamma Cameras
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spinal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Spinal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Spinal Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate


  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate