Bone scintigraphy in testicular tumors
Clinical Nuclear Medicine, v. 26, n. 2, p. 117-118, 2001.
José H. N. Braga, Francisco
Abdo Arbex, Marcos
Purpose: Testicular tumors do not occur frequently. Primary treatment is surgical, and radiotherapy and chemotherapy can play important roles in cases of metastatic disease. Bone scintigraphy is used largely for early detection of skeletal metastases from several tumors, and conventional radiographic studies are less sensitive than the nuclear technique for such a purpose. The aim of this study was to identify the role of bone scintigraphy in cases of testicular tumors, regardless of the grade. Materials and Methods: The authors examined 28 patients (8 to 52 years old) with proved testicular tumors using Tc-99m MDP (750 MBq; 20 mCi) injected intravenously. Whole-body images were obtained 2 hours later, at 500,000 counts per image. Radiographic studies were obtained to investigate abnormal areas noted on scintigraphy. Results: The results of bone scintigraphy were abnormal in seven cases, consisting of variable but diffuse uptake in the iliac bone on the same side as the affected testicle. MDP uptake was substantial in five of these patients (four seminomas, one nonseminoma; only two radiographic studies were abnormal), and the two other patients had moderate uptake of the radiopharmaceutical (two seminomas; radiographic studies were normal). Metastases were confirmed by biopsy in three cases. Discussion: Early metastases from seminomas can occur through the lymphatic drainage toward the iliac lymph node chain. This could explain these findings. The scintigraphic aspects of the affected iliac bones seem characteristic. Conclusions: Early detection of metastases is very important to ensure the efficacy of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Bone scintigraphy may play an important role in such cases and seems to be more sensitive than conventional radiography. Testicular tumor metastases should be considered when iliac involvement is observed. Paget's disease should be included in a differential diagnosis.