Imaging standard falls short in multiple myeloma

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According to a study conducted at the University of Baltimore and involving 51 patients with multiple myeloma, the current standard of care for determining the extent of disease falls short when compared against another method.

Patients with multiple myeloma were given two types of tests to determine the extent of the cancer in their bodies. The standard of care, which is a radiographic skeletal survey, and the method in question, a low dose whole body CT examination.

What they found was that the total number of lesions detected in these patients with:

Low dose whole body CT: 968
Radiographic skeletal survey: 248

The study authors wrote that since stage decides treatment, as many as 31 of the patients in the study would have been staged at a different stage with low dose whole body CT; notably, 13 would have been upstaged from I to II, nine would have been upstaged from I to III and another nine would have been upstaged from II to III.

Low dose whole body CT was much better than radiographic skeletal survey in detecting lesions in the spine, ribs, sternum and flat bones.

Concerns over the radiation dose may be one reason why the test is not widely accepted in the United States.

Source: Medical News Today

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