Usefulness of 18F-FDG PET-Directed Skeletal Biopsy for Metastatic Neoplasm

Parham Pezeshk, Cherryl A. Sadow, Carl S. Winalski, Philipp K. Lang, John E. Ready, John A. Carrino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives: Technium-99m methylene diphosphonate (99mTc-MDP) bone scintigraphy and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) are useful imaging modalities to detect skeletal metastases. Several other conditions such as infection, fractures, and arthritis can cause false-positive results with either modality. However, PET is felt to be more specific than bone scintigraphy for malignancy. Our objective was to investigate the value of PET scan compared with bone scintigraphy for directing biopsies in patients with suspected metastatic bone lesions. Materials and Methods: Retrospective case series of subjects with undergoing skeletal biopsy of suspected metastases detected by 99mTc-MDP scintigraphy or 18F-FDG PET scan. Reference standards were pathologic reports and follow-up for 6 months. The diagnostic test performance measures of true positive (TP), false positive (FP), and positive predictive value (PPV) were calculated for each group. The PPV with 95% confidence intervals (CI) was compared using the Fisher exact test. Results: There were a total of 68 subjects. PET-directed skeletal biopsies (n = 39) showed 35 TP, 4 FP, and an 89.7% PPV (95% CI: 75.7-97.1%). Bone scintigraphy directed biopsies (n = 29) had 21 TP, 8 FP, and 72.4 % PPV (95% CI: 52.7-82.7%). The PPV was not significantly different between the groups (P = .10). Conclusion: This study supports that PET can be used to effectively direct bone biopsies to confirm metastatic neoplasm and suggests that PET may provide incremental improvement to diagnostic yield over bone scintigraphy. The role of PET compared with bone scintigraphy for directing skeletal biopsies warrants further verification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1011-1015
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • PET (positron emission tomography)
  • bone biopsy
  • bone metastases
  • bone scintigraphy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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