What is the role of positron emission tomography (PET) scanning in the workup of multiple myeloma (MM)?

Updated: May 11, 2021
  • Author: Dhaval Shah, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Comparative studies have suggested the possible utility of positron emission tomography (PET) scanning in the evaluation of MM. [29, 30] For example, a comparison study of PET scanning and whole-body MRI in patients with bone marrow biopsy-proven multiple myeloma found that although MRI had higher sensitivity and specificity than PET in the assessment of disease activity, when used in combination and with concordant findings, the 2 modalities had a specificity and positive predictive value of 100%.

These researchers suggest that the combination of modalities may be valuable for assessing the effectiveness of treatment, when aggressive and expensive regimens are used. [30] However, PET scanning has not yet been integrated into standard practice. The International Myeloma Working Group notes the potential usefulness of PET scanning in selected patients but suggests that such studies ideally should be performed in the context of a clinical trial. [28]

A study by Zamagni et al found that 18-F fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT scan findings were reliable predictors of prognosis among patients with multiple myeloma who had undergone thalidomide-dexamethasone induction therapy and double autotransplantation. [31]

Also see the topic Imaging Multiple Myeloma.

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