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Treated invasive cervical carcinoma utility of computed tomography in distinguishing between skeletal metastases and radiation necrosis

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      Abstract

      The bony pelvis should be carefully evaluated on computed tomography (CT) scans of the lower abdomen and pelvis performed for staging cervical cancer or for evaluating suspected recurrence. CT provides optimal imaging of the spine and pelvis, frequently providing a clinically relevant supplement to bone scan or plain film information. In a study of eight patients with skeletal metastases from cervical carcinoma and three cases of radiation osteitis, overlap existed in their imaging characteristics. Metastases were always lytic but nearby sclerotic areas from radiation were often present. Radiation osteitis may be lytic, sclerotic, or mixed, and both may avidly accumulate bone-scanning radiotracers. The absence of a soft tissue mass, slow progression, blastic elements, and sharply defined borders on CT suggest radiation necrosis. However, in some lesions within a radiation portal, biopsy or MRI may be required for final diagnosis.

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