Diagnostic accuracy of dual-energy CT for the detection of bone marrow edema in the appendicular skeleton: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Mitchell P. Wilson, Kevin Lui, Dorian Nobbee, Mohammad H. Murad, Matthew D.F. McInnes, Trevor A. McGrath, Prayash Katlariwala, Gavin Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: This meta-analysis evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of dual-energy CT (DECT) for detecting bone marrow edema (BME) in the appendicular skeleton. Methods: A systematic review of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, and gray literature from inception through January 31, 2020, was performed. Original articles with > 10 patients evaluating the accuracy of DECT for detecting BME in the appendicular skeleton with a reference standard of MRI and/or clinical follow-up were included. Study details were independently extracted by two reviewers. Meta-analysis was performed using a bivariate random-effects model with multivariable meta-regression. Risk of bias (RoB) was evaluated with QUADAS-2. Results: Twenty studies evaluating 790 patients for BME in the appendicular skeleton were included in analysis. The summary sensitivity, specificity, and AUC values for BME in the appendicular skeleton were 86% (95% confidence interval [CI] 82–89%), 93% (95% CI 90–95%), and 0.95, respectively. Quantitative analysis had a higher sensitivity than qualitative analysis on meta-regression (p = 0.01), but no difference in specificity (p = 0.28). No other covariates contributed to variability in accuracy (etiology (trauma vs non-trauma); location (upper vs lower extremity); and RoB). Studies demonstrated generally low or unclear RoB and applicability. Eight studies included index tests with high RoB when quantitative assessments used a retrospective cut-off value. Conclusions: DECT demonstrates a higher specificity than sensitivity and AUC > 0.9. In scenarios where MRI availability is limited or contraindicated, DECT could be an alternative to MRI for detecting BME in the appendicular skeleton. However, limitations in sources of variability and RoB warrant continued study. Key Points: • Twenty studies evaluating 790 patients for bone marrow edema in the appendicular skeleton with dual-energy CT were included in analysis. • The summary sensitivity, specificity, and AUC values for detecting bone marrow in the appendicular skeleton were 86% (95% confidence interval [CI] 82–89%), 93% (95% CI 90–95%), and 0.95, respectively. • In scenarios where MRI availability is limited or is contraindicated, DECT could be an alternative to MRI for detecting bone marrow edema in the appendicular skeleton.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1558-1568
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean radiology
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Bone marrow
  • Bones of lower extremity
  • Bones of upper extremity
  • Radiography, dual-energy scanned projection
  • Tomography, X-ray computed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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