PURPOSE: To determine if in vivo detection of choline by using hydrogen 1 (1H) magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy with dynamic contrast material-enhanced MR imaging can help differentiate between benign and malignant musculoskeletal tumors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: MR imaging was performed in 36 consecutive patients with bone and soft-tissue tumors larger than 1.5 cm in diameter. Examinations were performed at 1.5 T with a surface coil appropriate for the location of the lesions. Single-voxel 1H MR spectroscopy was performed by using a point-resolved spectroscopic sequence with echo times of 40, 135, and 270 msec. The volume of interest within lesions was positioned on the areas of early enhancement (<8 seconds after arterial enhancement) according to the findings of dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging with subtraction. The criterion for determining whether choline was present in a lesion was a clearly identifiable peak at 3.2 ppm in at least two of the three spectra acquired at echo times. MR spectroscopic results and histopathologic findings were determined in blinded fashion and compared with κ statistics. P < .001 was considered to indicate a significant difference. RESULTS: Choline was detected in 18 of 19 patients with malignant tumors and in three of 17 patients with benign lesions. The three benign lesions included one perineurioma, one giant cell tumor, and one abscess. Choline was not detected in 14 patients with benign lesions nor in one patient with a densely ossifying low-grade parosteal osteosarcoma. In vivo 1H MR spectroscopy characterized bone and soft-tissue tumors, resulting in a sensitivity of 95%, specificity of 82%, and accuracy of 89% (P < .001). CONCLUSION: Choline can be reliably detected in large malignant bone and soft-tissue tumors by using a multiecho point-resolved spectroscopic protocol. 1H MR spectroscopy can help differentiate malignant from benign musculoskeletal tumors by revealing the presence or absence of water-soluble choline metabolites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging