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Cancer Imaging

Open Access

Value of PET-CT in plasma cell dyscrasias: a literature and pictorial review

Cancer Imaging201515(Suppl 1):P11

Published: 2 October 2015


MyelomaLearn ObjectivePotential PitfallBone Marrow InvolvementPlasmacytoma

Learning objectives

• To evaluate indications for PET-CT in plasma cell dyscrasias and its added value over other imaging modalities with review of literature based evidence and reference to the RCR/RCP guidelines.

• To discuss the use of PET-CT and subsequent clinical impact at our institution with pictorial illustration.

• To discuss the limitations and potential pitfalls of PET-CT with pictorial illustration.

Content organisation

• Role of imaging in the diagnosis, management and follow up of plasma cell dyscrasias.

• Indications for PET-CT and circumstances in which it is and is not likely to be beneficial with review of literature based evidence and RCR/RCP guidelines.

• Use of PET-CT at our institution with subsequent clinical impact in staging of non-secretory disease, myeloma, POEMS disease, assessing plasmacytoma response to treatment and MGUS transformation to myeloma with pictorial illustration.

• Limitations and potential pitfalls of PET-CT with pictorial illustration.


Although PET-CT is recommended by Durie-Salmon Plus, it is not widely adopted. RCR guidelines advise PET-CT for monitoring non secretory myeloma and assessing active disease. At our institution, PET-CT influenced patient management in 95%. PET-CT is useful in staging myeloma, in detection of occult bone/nodal disease and in detecting residual active disease or recurrent disease post chemoradiotherapy/bone marrow transplant. It is of less value in diffuse bone marrow involvement. PET-CT has added value to conventional imaging techniques especially when they are normal, indeterminate or contraindicated.

Authors’ Affiliations

Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, UK


© Aggarwal and Griffin 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.