Imaging is an integral part of the diagnosis, staging and evaluation of outcomes for bone and soft-tissue neoplasms. Each of the available imaging tools has a different role.

The authors reviewed the efficacy of the current imaging modalities in the diagnosis, staging, and follow-up of patients with musculoskeletal neoplasia.

Plain-film radiography remains the gold standard in the differential diagnosis of bone lesions. Bone scintigraphy is an excellent screening modality, and computed tomography is especially useful in evaluating lesions of the axial skeleton. The superior soft-tissue resolution and multiplanar capabilities achieved with magnetic resonance imaging, however, has replaced the need for CT scans in many cases.

The technological advances seen in recent years in all areas of imaging have improved the capabilities of these modalities to assist in the diagnosis, definition of tumor extent, and accurate staging of musculoskeletal tumors.

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