Diffusion-weighted whole-body MRI for evaluation of early response in multiple myeloma

Clin Radiol. 2017 Oct;72(10):850-857. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2017.05.004. Epub 2017 Jun 3.


Aim: To evaluate the modifications of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in myelomatous lesions before and after induction treatment and the correlation with patient response to therapy according to International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) criteria.

Materials and methods: A homogeneous group of 18 patients with a diagnosis of symptomatic multiple myeloma who underwent whole-body MRI with diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI-MRI) before and after bortezomib-based induction chemotherapy were evaluated prospectively. Quantitative analysis of ADC maps of myelomatous lesions was performed with the following pattern types: focal pattern, diffuse pattern (moderate and severe), and "salt and pepper" pattern. Lesions were evaluated by quantitative image analysis including measurement of the mean ADC in three measurements. Imaging results were compared to laboratory results as the clinical reference standard.

Results: A statistically significant increase in ADC values were found in the lesions of patients that responded to treatment. Interestingly, focal lesions showed a strongly significant increase in ADC values in responders, whereas no significant variation in ADC value in non-focal lesions (diffuse pattern and "salt and peppers" pattern) between responders and non-responders group was demonstrated.

Conclusions: DWI-MRI could provide additional quantitative information useful in monitoring early therapy response according to ADC changes of focal lesions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bortezomib / therapeutic use*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Whole Body Imaging / methods*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Bortezomib