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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Medical Imaging 1/2018

A prospective study to evaluate the intra-individual reproducibility of bone scans for quantitative assessment in patients with metastatic prostate cancer

BMC Medical Imaging > Ausgabe 1/2018
Mariana Reza, Reza Kaboteh, May Sadik, Anders Bjartell, Per Wollmer, Elin Trägårdh



The Bone Scan Index (BSI) is used to quantitatively assess the total tumour burden in bone scans of patients with metastatic prostate cancer. The clinical utility of BSI has recently been validated as a prognostic imaging biomarker. However, the clinical utility of the on-treatment change in BSI is dependent on the reproducibility of bone scans. The objective of this prospective study is to evaluate the intra-patient reproducibility of two bone scan procedures performed at a one-week interval.


We prospectively studied prostate cancer patients who were referred for bone scintigraphy at our centres according to clinical routine. All patients underwent two whole-body bone scans: one for clinical routine purposes and a second one as a repeated scan after approximately one week. BSI values were obtained for each bone scintigraph using EXINI boneBSI software.


A total of 20 patients were enrolled. There was no statistical difference between the BSI values of the first (median = 0.66, range 0–40.77) and second (median = 0.63, range 0–22.98) bone scans (p = 0.41). The median difference in BSI between the clinical routine and repeated scans was − 0.005 (range − 17.79 to 0). The 95% confidence interval for the median value was − 0.1 to 0. A separate analysis was performed for patients with BSI ≤ 10 (n = 17). Differences in BSI were smaller for patients with BSI ≤ 10 compared to the whole cohort (median − 0.1, range − 2.2-0, 95% confidence interval − 0.1 to 0).


The automated BSI demonstrated high intra-individual reproducibility for BSI ≤ 10 in the two repeated bone scans of patients with prostate cancer. The study supports the use of BSI as a quantitative parameter to evaluate the change in total tumour burden in bone scans.
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