Intense Tl uptake in giant-cell tumour of bone

T. Higuchi, J. Taki, H. Sumiya, S. Kinuya, H. Bunko, A. Nonomura, H. Tsuchiya, N. Tonami

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to determine the characteristics and clinical usefulness of Tl scintigraphy in giant-cell tumour of bone (GCT). Twenty-one patients with histopathologically proven benign GCT (22 lesions; 18 primary and four recurrent) underwent Tl scintigraphy. We also studied conventional osteosarcoma (10 lesions), a very common primary malignant bone tumour; and chordoma in the sacrum (four lesions), an entity requiring differential diagnosis from GCT of the sacrum. Early and delayed planar imaging was performed at 15 min (early) and 3 h (delayed) after the intravenous injection of Tl chloride (111 MBq). The Tl uptake ratio was calculated by dividing the count density of the tumour region of interest (ROI) by that of the background ROI. All GCT lesions showed increased Tl uptake in both early and delayed images. The mean Tl uptake ratios of primary GCT were 4.7 (range, 2.0-11.1) in the early images and 2.2 (range, 1.4-3.6) in the delayed images, and those of recurrent lesions were 5.8 (range, 2.4-11.5) in the early images and 2.7 (range, 2.0-4.3) in the delayed images. There were no significant differences between the uptake ratios in GCT and osteosarcoma, but the values of GCT tended to be higher than those of osteosarcoma, 3.1 (range, 1.7-4.4) in the early images and 1.8 (range, 1.3-2.3) in the delayed images. Chordoma did not show appreciable Tl uptake: the uptake ratio was 1.19 (range, 0.98-1.5) in the early images and 1.1 (range, 1.0-1.3) in the delayed images. In GCT, a benign lesion, Tl scintigraphy demonstrated marked uptake in both primary and recurrent lesions with no exceptions, precluding the use of Tl scintigraphy for the differential diagnosis of GCT from malignant tumours. However, the Tl scintigraphy can be used for excluding GCT when no lesional Tl uptake is observed, and diagnosing recurrent lesions on post-operative follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-599
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear medicine communications
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Giant cell tumour
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Thallium 201 scintigraphy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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