Interobserver agreement of whole-body magnetic resonance imaging is superior to whole-body computed tomography for assessing disease burden in patients with multiple myeloma.
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Objectives Whole-body MRI (WB-MRI) is recommended by the International Myeloma Working Group for all patients with asymptomatic myeloma and solitary plasmacytoma and by the UK NICE guidance for all patients with suspected myeloma. Some centres unable to offer WB-MRI offer low-dose whole-body CT (WB-CT). There are no studies comparing interobserver agreement and disease detection of contemporary WB-MRI (anatomical imaging and DWI) versus WB-CT. Our primary aim is to compare the interobserver agreement between WB-CT and WB-MRI in the diagnosis of myeloma.Methods Consecutive patients with newly diagnosed myeloma imaged with WB-MRI and WB-CT were prospectively reviewed. For each body region and modality, two experienced and two junior radiologists scored disease burden with final scores by consensus. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), median scores, Wilcoxon signed-rank test and Spearman's correlation coefficients were calculated.Results There was no significant difference in overall observer scores between WB-MRI and WB-CT (p = 0.87). For experienced observers, interobserver agreement for WB-MRI was superior to WB-CT overall and for each region, without overlap in whole-skeleton confidence intervals (ICC 0.98 versus 0.77, 95%CI 0.96-0.99 versus 0.45-0.91). For inexperienced observers, although there is a trend for a better interobserver score for the whole skeleton on WB-MRI (ICC 0.95, 95%CI 0.72-0.98) than on WB-CT (ICC 0.72, 95%CI 0.34-0.88), the confidence intervals overlap.Conclusions WB-MRI offers excellent interobserver agreement which is superior to WB-CT for experienced observers. Although the overall burden was similar across both modalities, patients with lower disease burdens where MRI could be advantageous are not included in this series.Key points • Whole-body MRI is recommended by the International Myeloma Working Group for patients with multiple myeloma and solitary plasmacytoma and by the NICE guidance for those with suspected multiple myeloma. • Some centres unable to offer whole-body MRI (WB-MRI) offer low-dose whole-body CT (WB-CT). • This prospective study demonstrates that contemporary WB-MRI (with anatomical sequences and DWI) provides better interobserver agreement in assessing myeloma disease burden for the whole skeleton and across any individual body region in myeloma patients when compared with low-dose whole-body CT.
Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Cost of Illness
Whole Body Imaging
License start date
European radiology, 2020, 30 (1), pp. 320 - 327