NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Multiple Myeloma

22 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Multiple Myeloma, 2019 2 Testing for myeloma Imaging tests Low-dose CT scan CT takes many pictures of a body part from different angles using x-rays. See Figure 7. A computer combines all the pictures to make one clear picture. The amount of radiation used for this type of scan is much lower than standard doses of a CT scan. A low-dose CT scan may be used to check the whole body. It can show whether or not lytic bone lesions are present. Lytic bone lesions look as if the bone has been eaten away. These lesions may cause pain and weaken the bones. Since bone lesions are common for people with multiple myeloma, an imaging test such as a whole-body low-dose CT scan or bone survey is recommended. PET/CT scan PET and CT are two types of imaging tests. These tests are often done at the same time. When used together, it is called a PET/CT scan. A PET/ CT scan may be done with one or two machines depending on the cancer center. PET/CT is a test that may be used when a bone survey doesn’t show any problems. PET shows how your cells are using a simple form of sugar. To create pictures, a sugar radiotracer first needs to be put into your body through a vein. The radiotracer emits a small amount of energy that is detected by the machine that takes pictures. Myeloma cells appear brighter in the pictures because they use sugar more quickly than normal cells. A PET scan is very good at showing active myeloma and how far it has spread. It can also help show bone damage from myeloma. The most commonly used radiotracer is called FDG. NCCN experts recommend that FDG be used when a PET/CT scan is being done. Figure 7. CT scan machine A CT scan machine is large and has a tunnel in the middle. During the test, you will lie on a table that moves slowly through the tunnel. Copyright © 2019 National Comprehensive Cancer Network ® (NCCN ® ).