Using our recently reported whole body PET imaging technique, we performed whole body PET studies of the skeletal system with [18F]fluoride ion in 19 patients with a range of malignant and benign skeletal conditions and in 19 normal male volunteers. The technique produces two-dimensional projection images of the entire skeletal system ("a PET bone scan"), in addition to coronal, sagittal, and axial tomographic images of the skeletal system. The tomographic images had a 13% higher lesion detection sensitivity than the projection images. Whole body PET skeletal imaging with [18F]fluoride ion is technically feasible, provides images of excellent quality, and may be coupled with more quantitatively precise kinetic PET [18F]fluoride ion studies (over limited regions of the body) when numerical estimates of skeletal [18F]fluoride ion uptake are desired. The method is potentially useful in clinical applications where the high resolution and numerical precision of PET are of particular value (e.g., in accurately defining the anatomic location and extent of lesions and in assessing changes in bone metabolism on serial studies).