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No benefit found to radionuclide bone scans for cartilaginous tumors in the humerus

Orthopedics Today reports on results of a study conducted by researchers at HSS and Yale University School of Medicine showing radionuclide bone scans may not correlate with other radiographic and clinical findings and are not warranted for the diagnosis of enchondromas of the humerus.

Researchers retrospectively reviewed information on 25 patients (mean age of 50 years), with an eventual diagnosis of enchondroma, who underwent radionuclide bone scanning at one academic medical center between January 2004 and December 2010. Radiographs and MRIs were used to find evidence of aggressive features such as soft tissue involvement, endosteal scalloping and periosteal involvement. Researchers performed bivariate logistic regression to determine the association of bone scan results with endosteal scalloping on the radiographs and MRIs. During an average of 69 weeks of follow-up, no lesions showed progression. Researchers determined “no statistically significant association” between positive findings of the bone scans and aggressive features on radiographs or MRIs.

“Based on the current findings and given the utility of patient presentation, plain radiographs and MRI scans in the diagnosis of these lesions, regular use of radionuclide bone scans for workup of well-differentiated cartilaginous lesions is not warranted,” noted the researchers. “Physicians who have experience in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal tumors may rely instead on the clinical and radiographic findings, with regular observation over time to ensure that there is no disease progression.”

Read the full article at Healio.com/news/orthopedics.