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Radionuclide imaging of soft tissue neoplasms

Seminars in Nuclear Medicine
Elsevier - WB Saunders
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0001-2998(81)80024-4
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Two classes of radiopharmaceuticals may be used for imaging tumors of the musculoskeletal system. The first is comprised of soft tissue or tumor-specific agents such as gallium-67, bleomycin, and radionuclide-labeled antibodies, which may be useful for detecting and localizing these tumors. The other class of tracer is comprised of those with avidity for bone. The 99mTc-labeled-phosphate skeletal imaging compounds have been found to localize in a variety of soft tissue lesions, including benign and malignant tumors. In 1972, Enneking began to include bone scans in the preoperative evaluation of soft tissue masses. Later, he and his associates reported that these scans were useful in planning operative treatment of sarcomas by detecting involvement of bone by the tumors. Nearly all malignant soft tissue tumors take up bone-seeking radiopharmaceuticals, and bone involvement was indicated in two-thirds of the scans we reviewed. About half of benign soft tissue lesions had normal scans, but the other half showed uptake within the lesion and a few also showed bone involvement. Careful, thorough imaging technique is essential to proper evaluation. Multiple, high-resolution static gamma camera images in different projections are necessary to adequately demonstrate the presence or absence of soft tissue abnormality and to define the precise relationship of the tumor to the adjacent bone.

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