Imaging of bone tumors for the musculoskeletal oncologic surgeon

C. Errani, J. Kreshak, P. Ruggieri, M. Alberghini, P. Picci, D. Vanel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The appropriate diagnosis and treatment of bone tumors requires close collaboration between differentmedical specialists. Imaging plays a key role throughout the process. Radiographic detection of a bonetumor is usually not challenging. Accurate diagnosis is often possible from physical examination, history,and standard radiographs. The location of the lesion in the bone and the skeleton, its size and margins,the presence and type of periosteal reaction, and any mineralization all help determine diagnosis. Otherimaging modalities contribute to the formation of a diagnosis but are more critical for staging, evaluationof response to treatment, surgical planning, and follow-up.When necessary, biopsy is often radioguided,and should be performed in consultation with the surgeon performing the definitive operative procedure.CT is optimal for characterization of the bone involvement and for evaluation of pulmonary metastases.MRI is highly accurate in determining the intraosseous extent of tumor and for assessing soft tissue,joint, and vascular involvement. FDG-PET imaging is becoming increasingly useful for the staging oftumors, assessing response to neoadjuvant treatment, and detecting relapses.Refinement of these andother imaging modalities and the development of new technologies such as image fusion for computer-navigated bone tumor surgery will help surgeons produce a detailed and reliable preoperative plan,especially in challenging sites such as the pelvis and spine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2083-2091
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Bone tumor
  • Computed tomography
  • Computer navigation
  • Imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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  • Cite this

    Errani, C., Kreshak, J., Ruggieri, P., Alberghini, M., Picci, P., & Vanel, D. (2013). Imaging of bone tumors for the musculoskeletal oncologic surgeon. European Journal of Radiology, 82(12), 2083-2091.