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Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 36785, 3 pages
Case Report

FDG-PET Lacks Sufficient Sensitivity to Detect Myxoid Liposarcoma Spinal Metastases Detected by MRI

Section of Orthopedic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell University Medical School, New York 10021, NY, USA

Received 26 November 2006; Accepted 21 March 2007

Academic Editor: David Harmon

Copyright © 2007 Joseph H. Schwab and John H. Healey. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To document a case of myxoid liposarcoma in which PET scan was less sensitive than MRI in detecting spinal metastasis. Materials and Methods. The case of a 65-year-old female with a history of myxoid liposarcoma (MLS) of the thigh resected 5 years previously and now presenting with low back pain is presented. Her medical oncologist ordered an FDG-PET scan to evaluate distant recurrence. Subsequently, an MRI of her spine was obtained by her surgeon. Results. The FDG-PET scan was obtained 1 week prior to the MRI, and it did not show increased glucose uptake in the spine. Her MRI did show increased signal intensity in her lumbar spine. CT needle biopsy confirmed the lesion to be metastatic MLS. Conclusion. FDG-PET scans are utilized to detect distant recurrence of cancerous lesions. Myxoid liposarcoma has a unique propensity to metastasize to the spine. Previous reports have documented the unreliability of bone scintigraphy to diagnose these metastases. Our report demonstrates that FDG-PET may also lack the sensitivity needed to detect these lesions. We advocate total spine MRI when screening for metastases in this population when they present with back pain.