JOURNAL ARTICLE

Bone involvement in patients with lymphoma: the role of FDG-PET/CT

Niklaus G Schaefer, Klaus Strobel, Christian Taverna, Thomas F Hany
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2007, 34 (1): 60-7
17021808

PURPOSE: To evaluate the diagnostic impact and clinical significance of FDG-avid bone lesions detected by FDG-PET/CT in patients with lymphoma.

METHODS: The study population comprised 50 consecutive patients (mean age 41.7+/-15.5 years; 27 female, 23 male; 41 staging, 9 restaging) with Hodgkin's disease (n=22) or aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (n=28) in whom FDG-avid bone lesions were detected by FDG-PET/CT. All patients had either direct biopsy of the FDG-avid bone lesion (n=18), standard bone marrow biopsy at the iliac crest (BMB; n=43) or both procedures (n=11). In 15 patients, additional MRI of the bone lesions was performed. All patients underwent FDG-PET/CT after the end of treatment. All CT images of FDG-PET/CT scans were analysed independently regarding morphological osseous changes and compared with FDG-PET results.

RESULTS: In the 50 patients, 193 FDG-avid lesions were found by PET/CT. The mean standardised uptake value was 6.26 (+/-3.22). All direct bone biopsies (n=18) of the FDG-avid lesions proved the presence of lymphomatous infiltration. BMB (n=43) was positive in 12 patients (27.9%). In CT, 32 of 193 (16.6%) lesions were detected without the PET information. No additional morphological bone infiltration was detected on CT compared with FDG-PET. All morphological bone alterations on CT scans persisted after the end of therapy. Additional PET/CT information regarding uni- or multifocal bone involvement resulted in lymphoma upstaging in 21 (42%) patients compared with the combined information provided by CT and BMB.

CONCLUSION: In patients with FDG-avid bone lesions, FDG-PET is superior to CT alone or in combination with unilateral BMB in detecting bone marrow involvement, leading to upstaging in a relevant proportion of patients.

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