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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effectiveness of the iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetric and least-squares estimation (IDEAL) MRI to quantify tumour infiltration into the lumbar vertebrae in myeloma patients without visible focal lesions.
The lumbar spine was examined with 3 T MRI in 24 patients with multiple myeloma and in 26 controls. The fat-signal fraction was calculated as the mean value from three vertebral bodies. A post hoc test was used to compare the fat-signal fraction in controls and patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), asymptomatic myeloma or symptomatic myeloma. Differences were considered significant at P < 0.05. The fat-signal fraction and β(2)-microglobulin-to-albumin ratio were entered into the discriminant analysis.
Fat-signal fractions were significantly lower in patients with symptomatic myelomas (43.9 ±19.7%, P < 0.01) than in the other three groups. Discriminant analysis showed that 22 of the 24 patients (92%) were correctly classified into symptomatic or non-symptomatic myeloma groups.
Fat quantification using the IDEAL sequence in MRI was significantly different when comparing patients with symptomatic myeloma and those with asymptomatic myeloma. The fat-signal fraction and β(2)-microglobulin-to-albumin ratio facilitated discrimination of symptomatic myeloma from non-symptomatic myeloma in patients without focal bone lesions. KEY POINTS : • A new magnetic resonance technique (IDEAL) offers new insights in multiple myeloma. • Fat-signal fractions were lower in patients with symptomatic myelomas than in those with asymptomatic myelomas. • The β2-microglobulin-to-albumin ratio also aided discrimination of symptomatic myeloma. • The fat-signal fraction may provide information about the myeloma cell mass.
European Radiology 12/2011; 22(5):1114-21. · 3.55 Impact Factor