Background: The roles of positron emission tomography and bone scanning in identifying bone metastasis in gastric cancer are unclear. Aim: We compared the usefulness of positron emission tomography-computed tomography and scanning in detecting bone metastasis in gastric cancer. Methods: Data from 1485 patients diagnosed with gastric cancer who had undergone positron emission tomography-computed tomography and scanning were reviewed. Of 170 enrolled patients who were suspected of bone metastasis in either positron emission tomography or scanning, 81.2% were confirmed to have bone metastasis. Results: The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 93.5%, 25.0%, and 80.6%, respectively, for positron emission tomography and 93.5%, 37.5%, and 82.9%, respectively, for scanning. 87.7% of patients with bone metastasis showed positive findings on two modalities. 15.0% of solitary bone metastases were positive on positron emission tomography only. Positron emission tomography was superior to scanning for the detection of synchronous bone metastasis, but the two modalities were similar for the detection of metachronous bone metastasis. The concordance rate of response assessment after treatment between two modalities was moderate. Conclusions: Positron emission tomography-computed tomography may be more effective for the diagnosis of bone metastasis in the initial staging workup. Conversely, bone scanning and positron emission tomography-computed tomography may be similarly effective for the detection of metachronous bone metastasis.
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