Metabolic Volume Measurements in Multiple Myeloma

Metabolites. 2021 Dec 16;11(12):875. doi: 10.3390/metabo11120875.


Multiple myeloma (MM) accounts for 10-15% of all hematologic malignancies, as well as 20% of deaths related to hematologic malignant tumors, predominantly affecting bone and bone marrow. Positron emission tomography/computed tomography with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG-PET/CT) is an important method to assess the tumor burden of these patients. It is often challenging to classify the extent of disease involvement in the PET scans for many of these patients because both focal and diffuse bone lesions may coexist, with varying degrees of FDG uptake. Different metrics involving volumetric parameters and texture features have been proposed to objectively assess these images. Here, we review some metabolic parameters that can be extracted from FDG-PET/CT images of MM patients, including technical aspects and predicting MM outcome impact. Metabolic tumor volume (MTV) and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) are volumetric parameters known to be independent predictors of MM outcome. However, they have not been adopted in clinical practice due to the lack of measuring standards. CT-based segmentation allows automated, and therefore reproducible, calculation of bone metabolic metrics in patients with MM, such as maximum, mean and standard deviation of the standardized uptake values (SUV) for the entire skeleton. Intensity of bone involvement (IBI) is a new parameter that also takes advantage of this approach with promising results. Other indirect parameters obtained from FDG-PET/CT images, such as visceral adipose tissue glucose uptake and subcutaneous adipose tissue radiodensity, may also be useful to evaluate the prognosis of MM patients. Furthermore, the use and quantification of new radiotracers can address different metabolic aspects of MM and may have important prognostic implications.

Keywords: 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose; intensity of bone involvement; metabolic tumor volume; multiple myeloma; positron emission tomography; total lesion glycolysis.

Publication types

  • Review