F18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography in the evaluation of vertebral vascular tumors


      • This study compared the 18F-FDG PET/CT findings of vertebral vascular tumors with those of typical hemangiomas.
      • The results showed that 18F-FDG uptake of vertebral malignant vascular tumors is higher than that of hemangiomas.
      • The FDG uptake of hemangiomas varies and may be related to concurrent cortical destruction.
      • We demonstrate some features of these tumors seen on 18F-FDG PET/CT scans.



      The uptake of 18F-FDG is higher in most malignancies than in benign tumors. This study aimed to investigate the diagnostic value of 18F-FDG PET/CT in vertebral vascular tumors.

      Materials and methods

      We retrospectively collected PET/CT and clinical data of patients with vertebral vascular tumors and analyzed the location, number, and bone destruction and FDG uptake features of the lesion. We measured SUVmax and maximum diameter and analyzed the correlations between SUVmax and the pathological results, size, and CT features.


      Twenty-one pathology-proven vertebral vascular tumors were included: 2 angiosarcomas (SUVmax, 11.6 and 32.3), 1 epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (SUVmax, 5.7), 1 epithelioid hemangioma (SUVmax, 8.5), and 17 aggressive hemangiomas. Twelve cases of typical hemangiomas were included as controls. The SUVmax and diameter of the aggressive hemangiomas were higher than those of the typical hemangiomas. The mean SUVmax of aggressive hemangiomas with cortical destruction was higher than that of those without cortical destruction (t = −2.566, P = 0.022). Radioactive distribution in aggressive hemangiomas was homogeneous and heterogeneous in nine and eight cases, respectively. In six aggressive hemangiomas, the FDG uptake of residual and marginal sclerosing bone was higher than that of the osteolytic destruction area and/or paravertebral soft tissue. Six aggressive hemangiomas involved the spinal canal, without clear visualization on PET/CT.


      18F-FDG uptake of vertebral malignant vascular tumors is higher than that of hemangiomas. The FDG uptake of hemangiomas varies and may be related to concurrent cortical destruction. 18F-FDG PET/CT shows limitations in evaluating the spinal canal involvement of aggressive hemangioma.



      CT (computed tomography), FOV (field of view), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), 18F-FDG (F18-fluorodeoxyglucose), PET (positron emission tomography), SUVmax (maximal standardized uptake value)
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