Virtual calcium-suppression in dual energy computed tomography predicts metabolic activity of focal MM lesions as determined by fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission-tomography

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Eur J Radiol. 2020 Dec 25;135:109502. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2020.109502. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Recent studies showed that dual energy CT (DECT) allows for detection of bone marrow infiltration in multiple myeloma (MM) by obtaining virtual non-calcium (VNCa) images. This feasibility study investigated, if VNCa imaging might discriminate metabolically active, focal lesions in MM against avital lesions in MM patients, considering fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission-tomography CT (FDG PET/CT) as the standard of reference.

METHOD: The study included 60 osteolytic lesions in 10 consecutive low-dose whole body CT scans of patients with MM, who underwent both FDG PET/CT and DECT at a tertiary care university hospital. Circular ROI measurements were performed in predefined lesions on the monoenergetic CT (MECT) and VNCa images by three blinded radiologists. Each lesion was rated vital or avital by a blinded specialist of nuclear medicine, based on their FDG metabolism.

RESULTS: Each of the three readers could separate FDG PET/CT negative and positive MM lesions when analyzing the VNCa images, while MECT did not show a significant difference. Best results were yielded by high calcium suppression with excellent inter-rater reliability (average sensitivity 0.91, specificity 0.88, cutoff -46.9 HU), followed by medium and low calcium suppression.

CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to MECT imaging, VNCa imaging in DECT appears to be feasible to assess metabolic activity of focal MM lesions as defined by the standard of reference, FDG PET/CT. Considering the higher cost and radiation exposure of FDG PET/CT, DECT VNCa imaging might develop to be the modality of choice to assess metabolic activity of focal MM lesions.

PMID:33388530 | DOI:10.1016/j.ejrad.2020.109502