Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 147–153 | Cite as

Single photon emission computed tomography/spiral computed tomography fusion imaging for the diagnosis of bone metastasis in patients with known cancer

  • Zhen Zhao
  • Lin LiEmail author
  • Fanglan Li
  • Lixia Zhao
Scientific Article



To evaluate single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/spiral computed tomography (CT) fusion imaging for the diagnosis of bone metastasis in patients with known cancer and to compare the diagnostic efficacy of SPECT/CT fusion imaging with that of SPECT alone and with SPECT + CT.

Materials and methods

One hundred forty-one bone lesions of 125 cancer patients (with nonspecific bone findings on bone scintigraphy) were investigated in the study. SPECT, CT, and SPECT/CT fusion images were acquired simultaneously. All images were interpreted independently by two experienced nuclear medicine physicians. In cases of discrepancy, consensus was obtained by a joint reading. The final diagnosis was based on biopsy proof and radiologic follow-up over at least 1 year.


The final diagnosis revealed 63 malignant bone lesions and 78 benign lesions. The diagnostic sensitivity of SPECT, SPECT + CT, and SPECT/CT fusion imaging for malignant lesions was 82.5%, 93.7%, and 98.4%, respectively. Specificity was 66.7%, 80.8%, and 93.6%, respectively. Accuracy was 73.8%, 86.5%, and 95.7%, respectively. The specificity and accuracy of SPECT/CT fusion imaging for the diagnosis malignant bone lesions were significantly higher than those of SPECT alone and of SPECT + CT (P < 0.05). Among 37 equivocal lesions revealed with SPECT, the diagnostic accuracy of bone lesions was 45.9% for SPECT + CT and 81.1% for SPECT/CT fusion imaging (χ2 = 9.855, P = 0.002). The numbers of equivocal lesions were 37, 18, and 5 for SPECT, SPECT + CT, and SPECT/CT fusion imaging, respectively, and 29.7% (11/37), 27.8% (5/18), and 20.0% (1/5) of lesions were confirmed to be malignant by radiologic follow-up over at least 1 year.


SPECT/spiral CT is particularly valuable for the diagnosis of bone metastasis in patients with known cancer by providing precise anatomic localization and detailed morphologic characteristics.


Bone lesion Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) Computed tomography (CT) Fusion imaging 



We thank BioMed Proofreading for assistance in editing the manuscript. We also thank the technicians in nuclear medicine for their enduring support during this study.


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Copyright information

© ISS 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Medicine and The National Key Discipline of Medical Imaging and Nuclear MedicineWest China Hospital of Sichuan UniversityChengduChina

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