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Tomographic Gallium-67 Citrate Scanning: Useful New Surveillance for Metastatic Melanoma

JOHN M. KIRKWOOD, M.D.; JOYCE E. MYERS, M.D.; DANIEL R. VLOCK, M.D.; RONALD NEUMANN, M.D.; STEPHAN ARIYAN, M.D.; ALEXANDER GOTTSCHALK, M.D.; and PAUL HOFFER, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: grants CA-08341, CA-09200, and DE-AC02-78-EOV4625 from the National Cancer Institute.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to John M. Kirkwood, M.D.; Yale University School of Medicine, Section of Medical Oncology, 333 Cedar Street; New Haven, CT 06510.


New Haven, Connecticut


© 1982 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1982;97(5):694-699. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-97-5-694
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Conventional gallium scans are not useful to evaluate patients with metastatic melanoma. We evaluated a new method of tomographic gallium imaging. One hundred fourteen tomographic scans were obtained in a prospective surveillance study of 67 patients over a 3-year period. Scans were evaluated and compared to findings of independent clinical evaluations. Sensitivity of gallium identification of tumor involving peripheral lymph nodes and soft tissues, abdomen, mediastinum, and osseous sites was 68% to 100%; overall sensitivity of this technique is 82% with specificity of 99% in 570 organ system assessments. Analysis of discordant findings when a site was clinically occult but gallium-positive showed gallium uptake to be true-positive in six of seven lymphatic sites, three of three lung and mediastinal sites, six of six abdominal sites, but in no brain or bone sites. Gallium lesions identified by computed tomographic scans proved to be false-positive at one lymphatic and one bone site, and false-negative at four otherwise clinically evident lymph node and soft tissue sites, seven pulmonary sites, and four brain sites. Gallium tomographic scanning provides a composite assessment of melanoma and may eliminate the need for other studies.

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