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A 39-year-old female asked:

Are there bone tumors that do not show up on x-ray or ct but do show up on bone scan? can't have mri (icd)

5 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Allen Lu
Dr. Allen Luanswered
Orthopedic Surgery 25 years experience
Not really: Bone tumors are mostly evaluated with ct and x-ray. The extent of involvement can be evaluated with an MRI (usually to assess the soft tissue extension). A bone scan is used only to evaluate distant lesions that may have travelled away from the original tumor. Some tumors do not light up on bone scan.
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Dr. Thomas Heston
Family Medicine 30 years experience
Yes: Often the bone scan will show the tumor prior to it being seen on x-ray or ct, especially if you get an f18 Fluoride pet/ct bone scan.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Brian Sabb
Sports Medicine 26 years experience
Yes: X-ray is the right place to start the evaluation for bone lesions including tumors. However, since you cannot get an mri, a nuclear medicine study should be considered. Bone scan is an option. Others include spect/ct and pet/ct. These exams combine the benefits of nuclear medicine (like bone scan) and ct. Please note they also combine the risks of the 2 exams, namely increased radiation exposure.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 53 years experience
Most seen on X-ray: Most primary bone tumors are evident on plain radiographs and ct exam. Mr is usually used to be exact about extent of involvement in soft tissues or marrow. Mr helps surgeon in planning extent of tumor for surgery. Bone scan and pet?Ct are used usually not to make diagnosis of primary bone tumor but extent of spread to other areas of body. Pet/ct is most sensitive and accurate detecting metastases.
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Dr. Paul Baez
Radiology 22 years experience
Possibly: Nuclear medicine bone scan is very sensitive for certain types of bone tumors and can show a lesion that is not yet apparent on x-ray or ct. Depends on the type of tumor.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Apr 26, 2019

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