Fast Five Quiz: Imaging Studies in Metastatic Bone Disease

Maurie Markman, MD


March 27, 2019

PET scans identify bone metastases in their early stages of growth and are indicated for the following:

  • To evaluate patients presenting with pain but who have negative or equivocal x-ray findings

  • To determine the disease stage of patients with asymptomatic MBD

  • To determine the amount of bone metastasis in patients with known metastasis

  • To differentiate traumatic fracture from metastatic, pathologic fracture

  • To assess patients' response to treatment

PET scans identify bone metastases in early stages, not late stages, of growth. They are not useful in identifying sclerotic brain lesions, nor are they used to evaluate vascular abnormalities of the chest.

For more on the role of PET studies in MBD, read here.


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