Purpose: To compare qualitative and quantitative computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) parameters for longitudinal disease monitoring of multiple myeloma (MM) of the axial skeleton. Materials and methods: We included 31 consecutive patients (17 m; mean age 59.20 ± 8.08 years) with MM, who underwent all baseline (n = 31) and at least one or more (n = 47) follow-up examinations consisting of multi-parametric non-enhanced whole-body MRI (WBMRI) and non-enhanced whole-body reduced-dose thin-section MDCT (NEWBMDCT) between 06/2013 and 09/2016. We classified response according to qualitative CT criteria into progression (PD), stable(SD), partial/very good partial (PR/VGPR) and complete response(CR), grouping the latter three together for statistical analysis because CT cannot reliably assess PR and CR. Qualitative MR-response criteria were defined and grouped similarly to CT using longitudinal quantification of signal-intensity changes on T1w/STIR/ T2*w and calculating ADC-values. Standard of reference was the hematological laboratory (M-gradient). Results: Hematological response categories were CR (14/47, 29.7%), PR (2/47, 4.2%), SD (16/47, 34.0%) and PD (15/47, 29.9%). Qualitative-CT-evaluation showed PD in 12/47 (25.5%) and SD/PR/VGPR/CR in 35/47 (74.5%) cases. These results were confirmed by quantitative-CT in all focal lytic lesions (p < 0.001). Quantitative-CT at sites with diffuse bone involvement showed significant increase of maximum bone attenuation (p < 0.001*) and significant decrease of minimal bone (p < 0.002*) in the SD/PR/VGPR/CR group. Qualitative MRI showed PD in 14/47 (29.7%) and SD/PR/VGPR/CR in 33/47 (70.3%). Quantitative MRI diagnosis showed a statistically significant decrease in signal intensity on short tau inversion recovery sequences (STIR) in bone marrow in patients with diffuse bone marrow involvement achieving SD/PR/VGPR/CR (p < 0.001*). Conclusion: Imaging response monitoring using MRI is superior to CT only if qualitative parameters are used, whereas there was no definite benefit from using quantitative parameters with either CT or MRI.
- Multiple myeloma
- Qualitative and quantitative analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging