NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Multiple Myeloma
2.5 Imaging tests
Imaging tests take pictures (images) of the inside of your
body. These tests are often easy to undergo. Before
the test, you may be asked to stop eating or drinking
for several hours. You also should remove any metal
objects that are on your body. For some imaging tests, a
contrast dye is injected into the body so that the pictures
are clearer. However, this contrast dye can cause
more damage to frail kidneys, so it must be avoided in
any person with multiple myeloma. Imaging tests for
A bone survey (also called a skeletal survey) is a test
that uses a set of x-rays to take pictures of your entire
skeleton. A bone survey is done to check for broken or
damaged bones caused by myeloma.
Bone densitometry uses x-rays to make pictures that
show how strong or thin bones are. This test may be
used to decide if bone-strengthening medications, called
bisphosphonates, may be a good option for you.
A CT (
omography) scan takes many pictures
of a body part from different angles using x-rays. A
computer combines all the pictures to make one clear
picture. CT may be given when a bone survey doesn’t
show any problems to further check for bone damage.
Figure 7 shows what a CT machine looks like.
Figure 7. CT scan