Imaging of multiple myeloma and related plasma cell dyscrasias

Ronald C. Walker, Tracy L. Brown, Laurie B. Jones-Jackson, Lorraine De Blanche, Twyla Bartel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Learning Objectives: On successful completion of this activity, participants should be able to describe (1) the benefits and limitations of both conventional and advanced imaging in evaluating patients with multiple myeloma and related plasma cell dyscrasias; (2) imaging findings of key significance for clinical management of patients with multiple myeloma and related plasma cell dyscrasias; and (3) common and sometimes life-threatening complications of myeloma and its treatment. Financial Disclosure: The authors of this article have indicated no relevant relationships that could be perceived as a real or apparent conflict of interest. CME Credit: SNM is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to sponsor continuing education for physicians. SNM designates each JNM continuing education article for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. For CE credit, participants can access this activity through the SNM Web site ( through July 2013. Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable plasma cell malignancy of the bone marrow. MM has 3 components: diffuse marrow infiltration, focal bone lesions, and soft-tissue (extramedullary) disease. The hallmark biomarker in blood or urine is a monoclonal immunoglobulin, the monoclonal protein. Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia is a similar disease with secretion of IgM. Staging is classically performed with the 1975 Durie-Salmon system, which includes conventional radiographs. Recently updated, the Durie-Salmon Plus staging system includes CT, MRI, and 18F-FDG PET/CT. The hallmark radiographic lesion of symptomatic MM is a well-demarcated, focal osteolytic bone lesion. The number of focal bone lesions correlates inversely with outcome. Extramedullary disease is typically an aggressive, poorly differentiated form of MM that confers inferior outcome, with median survival of less than 1 y if present at diagnosis. Achievement of a complete response on 18F-FDG PET before stem-cell transplantation correlates with a superior outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1091-1101
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012


  • MRI
  • Multiple myeloma
  • PET/CT
  • Poems syndrome
  • Solitary plasmacytoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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