The relationship between thallium uptake, blood flow, and blood pool activity in bone and soft tissue tumors
Twenty patients with known primary untreated and recurrent bone and soft tissue tumors underwent thallium imaging and three-phase bone imaging in the same session. The ratio of thallium uptake in the tumor tissue to the contralateral normal tissue areas was compared with the same ratio for phase 1 (blood flow or arterial phase), phase 2 (blood pool), and phase 3 (delayed medroxy-diphosphonate, MDP, uptake). There was poor correlation between Tl uptake and phases 1 and 3 of the bone scan ratios; r = 0.37 and 0.46; P = 0.097 and 0.047, respectively. The thallium uptake ratios correlated well with blood pool ratios (phase 2) (r = 0.84 and P less than 0.01). In contrast to uptake into normal muscle, Tl-201 uptake into tumor is not highly dependent on blood flow alone and other factors predominate in determining its magnitude.