The aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of fully diagnostic, contrast-enhanced whole-body FDG-PET/CT and whole-body MRI for detection of bone metastases in patients suffering from newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancer and malignant melanoma.
109 consecutive non-small cell lung cancer (n=54) and malignant melanoma (n=55) patients underwent whole-body FDG-PET/CT and whole-body MRI for initial tumor staging. All images were evaluated by four experienced physicians (three radiologists, one nuclear medicine physician). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and accuracy for detection of bone metastases were determined for both modalities. Statistically significant differences between FDG-PET/CT and MRI were calculated with Fisher's Exact test (p<0.05). Clinical and imaging follow-up data with a mean follow-up time of 434 days served as the reference standard.
According to the reference standard 11 patients (10%) suffered from bone metastases. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and accuracy for the detection of osseous metastases was 45%, 99%, 83%, 94%, and 94% with whole-body FDG-PET/CT and 64%, 94%, 54%, 96%, and 91% with whole-body MRI. The difference was not statistically significant (p=0.6147).
FDG-PET/CT and MRI seem to be equally suitable for the detection of skeletal metastases in patients suffering from newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancer and malignant melanoma. Both modalities go along with a substantial rate of false-negative findings requiring a close follow-up of patients who are staged free of bone metastases at initial staging.