J Korean Soc Spine Surg.  2006 Sep;13(3):191-199. 10.4184/jkss.2006.13.3.191.

Usefulness of Fluorine-18 FDG-PET In the Diagnosis of Vertebral Pathologic Fracture

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Ajou University School of Medicine, Korea. bone@ajou.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Ajou University School of Medicine, Korea.
  • 3Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Korea.


STUDY DESIGN: A prospective study of the reproducibility of F-18 FDG-PET.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether F-18 FDG-PET had value in distinguishing between vertebral pathologic fractures and osteoporotic compression fractures. SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEW: There were many reports in the literature about vertebral pathologic disease studied with F-18 FDG-PET, but few about the distinction between pathologic and benign causes in fractured vertebrae.
Twenty-nine patients with vertebral fractures that did not result from major trauma, who were admitted to our hospital from December 2002 to May 2004, were included in this study; and all of them were evaluated with MRI and F-18 FDG-PET. Their final diagnoses were confirmed by biopsy (n=12) or clinical follow-up (n=17). There were 18 cases of vertebral compression fractures, 11 cases of pathologic fractures (4 cases of tumor lesions and 7 cases of pyogenic spondylitis). F-18 FDG-PET images of those patients were interpreted as vertebral compression fractures or pathologic fractures by one nuclear medicine specialist and one radiology specialist without any clinical or radiologic information. The sensitivity and specificity of MRI and F-18 FDG-PET for the diagnosis of vertebral pathologic fractures were calculated and compared.
Twenty-four (82.8 %) of 29 cases demonstrated a coincidence between MRI and F-18 FDG-PET interpretations. The sensitivity of F-18 FDG-PET for the diagnosis of vertebral pathologic fractures was 90.9 % and the specificity was 88.9 %. The sensitivity of MRI was 81.8% and the specificity was 83.3%. F-18 FDG-PET demonstrated a higher sensitivity and specificity, and these were statistically insignificant differences.
F-18 FDG-PET is a useful method for determining the differential diagnosis of vertebral pathologic fractures, with high sensitivity and specificity.


Spine; F-18 FDG-PET; MRI; Pathologic fracture
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