The role of bone SPET study in diagnosis of single vertebral metastases

Giordano Savelli, Arturo Chiti, Giacomo Grasselli, Marco Maccauro, Marcello Rodari, Emilio Bombardieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spine is the preferential site of metastases trom several neoplasms. In the past years whole body bone scan (BS) with (99m)Tc-diphosphonates has been considerd the first choice in detecting the skeletal involvement. However the presence of vertebral non-neoplastic pathology in oncologic patients can cause several false positive results and this increases the difficulty in defining the etiology of a focal uptake. Nowadays, technological development has provided new gamma cameras. which are able to perform tomographic acquisition (single photon emission tomography, SPET). This technique allows one to better define the anatomical location of the areas of increased uptake. In our study, 81 cancer patients, with suspected single skeletal metastases not defined by BS, were studied by SPET. The skeletal involvement was confirmed during at least 12 months follow up by means of clinical, radiological and nuclear medicine examinations. The overall malignant bone alterations were 14 while the benign ones were 67. The performances of SPET were: diagnostic sensitivity 92.8% (13/14), specificity 92.5% (62/67) positive predictive value 72.2% (13/18), negative predictive value 98.4% (62/63), accuracy 92.6% (75/81). Out conclusion is that bone SPET proved to be a very reliable tool in differentiating benign disease from metastatic involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1120
Number of pages6
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number2 B
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Bone metastasis
  • Bone scan
  • Single photon emission tomography
  • Spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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