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Clinical Significance of Preoperative CT and MR Imaging Findings in the Prediction of Postoperative Recurrence of Spinal Giant Cell Tumor of Bone

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To explore the predictive value of preoperative imaging in patients with spinal giant cell tumor of bone (GCTB) for postoperative recurrence and risk stratification.


Clinical data for 62 cases of spinal GCTB diagnosed and treated at our hospital from 2008 to 2018 were identified. All patients were followed up for more than 2 years according to the clinical guidelines after surgery. Medical history data including baseline demographic and clinical characteristics, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of recurrent and non-recurrent patients were compared. Two musculoskeletal radiologists read the images and were blinded to the clinical data. The imaging features associated with postoperative recurrence were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to determine the optimal cutoff value of the largest lesion diameter predicting recurrence after surgery.


According to whether the disease recurred within the follow-up period, patients were divided into the recurrence group and the non-recurrence group. Of 62 patients (29 males and 33 females), 17 had recurrence and 45 did not. The recurrence rate was 27.4%. The mean follow-up time was 73.66 (± 32.92) months. The three major treatments were total en bloc spondylectomy (n = 26), intralesional spondylectomy (n = 20), and curettage(n = 16). A total of 16 CT and MRI features were analyzed. A univariate analysis showed no significant difference in age, sex, treatment, multi-vertebral body involvement, location, boundary, expansile mass, residual bone crest, paravertebral soft tissue mass, CT value, and MRI signal on T1-weighted imaging (WI), T2-WI, and T2-WI fat suppression (FS) sequences (P > 0.05). The largest lesion diameter [(4.68 ± 1.79) vs (5.92 ± 2.17) cm, t = 2.287, P = 0.026] and the vertebral compression fracture (51% vs 82%, χ2  = 5.005, P = 0.025) were significantly different between the non-recurrence and recurrence groups. Logistic regression analysis showed that both largest lesion diameter (odds ratio [OR], 1.584; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.108-2.264; P = 0.012) and compression fracture (OR, 8.073; 95%CI, 1.481-11.003; P = 0.016) were independent predictors of postoperative recurrence. When we set the cutoff value for the largest lesion diameter at 4.2 cm, the sensitivity and specificity for distinguishing the recurrence and non-recurrence of GCTB were 94.1% and 42.2%, respectively, and the area under the curve (AUC) was 0.671. The combined model achieved a sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 47.1%, 97.8% and 83.9%, respectively.


In spinal GCTB, maximum lesion diameter and the vertebral compression fracture are associated with tumor recurrence after surgery, which may provide helpful information for planning personalized treatment.

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