Recently, positron emission tomography (PET) has been incorporated into a series of prospective studies as a predictor of outcomes in multiple myeloma (MM), and the number of 18F-fluorodeoxuglucose (FDG)-avid focal lesions (FLs) and the intensity of tumor metabolism have been designated as important surrogate markers for predicting prognosis. Here, we compared initial clinical characteristics of MM patients with baseline PET parameters: the number of FLs and the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax). A total of 59 patients diagnosed with MM between August 2004 and February 2012 were reviewed. At diagnosis, 23 patients (40.0%) had ≤3 FLs, 11 patients (18.6%) 4-9 FLs, and 25 patients (42.4%) ≥10 FLs. The median SUVmax was 5.3 (range 0-24.3), and 40 patients (67.8%) showed a SUVmax >4. No clinical characteristics were significantly different between groups with a SUVmax ≤4 and a SUVmax >4. However, there were significant differences in several clinical indices between the FLs ≤3 and FLs >3 groups; elevated β2-microglobulin, elevated lactate dehydrogenase, anemia and more advanced disease by the Durie-Salmon stage corresponded to FLs >3 at baseline PET. Adverse baseline PET findings are positively correlated with prognostically relevant clinical parameters. Regarding PET parameters, FLs are more likely to be well correlated with disease aggressiveness and pathophysiology compared to SUVmax.

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