Staging with MRI

If the biopsy shows that you have multiple myeloma, we will need to learn how far the disease has progressed so we can plan the best treatment. This is called staging the disease. It may mean that you will need additional blood tests, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), skeletal survey x-ray tests or Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans.

At Roswell Park, we use MRI to look inside the bone marrow so we can determine how far the multiple myeloma has moved into the bone marrow. Usually this information is obtained by doing a bone marrow biopsy. However, a study published by researchers including Ahmed Belal, MD, and Ronald Alberico, MD, of Roswell Park’s Department of Diagnostic Radiology, showed that information from a bone marrow MRI corresponds well with information from a bone marrow biopsy — so we may be able to decrease the number of bone marrow biopsies needed to monitor the effects of treatment.