Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 351–361 | Cite as

Comparison of qualitative and quantitative CT and MRI parameters for monitoring of longitudinal spine involvement in patients with multiple myeloma

  • M. Horger
  • J. Fritz
  • W. M. Thaiss
  • H. Ditt
  • K. Weisel
  • M. Haap
  • Christopher KlothEmail author
Scientific Article



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).


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*).


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 CT MRI Qualitative and quantitative analysis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author(s) declared the following potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: HD is employed by a commercial company (Siemens AG Healthcare Sector). Since the manuscript is based on the application of a new software, the coauthor gave technical support, but he and his organization did not play a role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

JF received institutional research funds and speaker’s honorarium from Siemens Healthcare USA and is a scientic advisor of Siemens Healthcare USA. However this did not refer conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

M.H. has contributed conceptually to the development of this post-processing software but has no financial interest to disclose. The author did not have conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Supplementary material

256_2017_2827_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplemental material Table 8 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© ISS 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Horger
    • 1
  • J. Fritz
    • 2
  • W. M. Thaiss
    • 1
  • H. Ditt
    • 3
  • K. Weisel
    • 4
  • M. Haap
    • 5
  • Christopher Kloth
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyEberhard-Karls-University TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineRussell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological ScienceBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Siemens AG Healthcare, Sector Imaging and Interventional RadiologyForchheimGermany
  4. 4.Department of Internal Medicine IIEberhard-Karls-University TübingenTübingenGermany
  5. 5.Department of Internal Medicine IVEberhard-Karls-University TübingenTübingen, Germany
  6. 6.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyUniversity Hospital UlmULMGermany

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