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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 44-48

Efficacy of SPECT over planar bone scan in the diagnosis of solitary vertebral lesions in patients with low back pain

1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, NIMS, Mumbai, India
2 Department of Nuclear Medicine,Tata Memorial Center (TMC), Mumbai, India
3 Departments of Rheumatology, NIMS, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Pushpalatha Sudhakar
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Punjagutta, Hyderabad - 500 082, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-3919.72685

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Background : The purpose of our study has been to evaluate the efficacy of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) over planar bone scan in identifying solitary vertebral lesions in patients with low backache and its ability to differentiate various pathologies according to the uptake pattern. Materials and Methods : The study included twenty patients out of whom six patients presented with known carcinoma and fourteen patients with low back pain. SPECT was done in all following planar skeletal survey. Benign and malignant lesions were identified according to the uptake pattern in vertebral elements, based on Gary F. Gates observations. Final diagnosis was obtained by means of biopsy or correlation with radiograph or computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and / or follow up. Results : SPECT detected additional 30% of solitary vertebral lesions that were obscured on planar scan. Seven out of twenty were localized in anterior vertebral body and were diagnosed as benign ostophytes in six and osteoma in one substantiating the previous observations. Out of six cases of known carcinoma, three were having solitary metastases and showed posterior vertebral body uptake with pedicle involvement. SPECT could localize specific lesions as source of pain in eleven patients with low back pain (78%) and identified various etiologies including benign tumors (osteoid osteoma and osteoma), facet arthritis, discitis, transverse process fractures and spondylolysis. Conclusion : Our study highlighted the higher diagnostic value of SPECT over planar skeletal scintigraphy in localizing solitary vertebral lesions in low backache patients. Based on SPECT pattern, malignant and benign lesions could be differentiated in the given clinical context.

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