18F-FDG-PET in patients with malignant lymphoma having long-term follow-up: staging and restaging, and evaluation of treatment response and recurrence

Kayako Isohashi, Mitsuaki Tatsumi, Ichiro Higuchi, Atsuo Inoue, Kazuya Nakajo, Jun Ishikawa, Eku Shimosegawa, Yuzuru Kanakura, Hironobu Nakamura, Jun Hatazawa
Annals of Nuclear Medicine 2008, 22 (9): 795-802

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of positron emission tomography (PET) with 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (18F-FDG) for staging/restaging, evaluating the treatment response, and screening of recurrence in patients with malignant lymphoma (ML) during long-term follow-up, and to compare that with computer tomography (CT)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

METHODS: The study was conducted in 59 ML patients who underwent whole-body 18F-FDG-PET examinations three times or more from October 1998 to August 2006. The location of the lesions in the patients with positive findings on 18F-FDG-PET and/or the corresponding CT/MRI was classified into supradiaphragmatic (n = 10), infradiaphragmatic (n = 7), and extranodal sites (n = 20), and the findings were compared on a site basis according to the gold standard, which consisted of all clinical information available, including follow-up results.

RESULTS: A total of 156 18F-FDG-PET examinations for which the corresponding CT/MRI images were also available were evaluated, and a total of 305 sites showed positive findings on 18F-FDG-PET and/or CT/MRI. Concordant positive findings were obtained in 76% for staging/restaging, 34% for evaluation of the treatment response, and 50% for screening of recurrence. The accuracy of 18F-FDG-PET versus CT/MRI was 92% versus 84% (P = 0.06) for staging/restaging, 84% versus 50% (P < 0.05) for the evaluation of the treatment response, and 83% versus 72% (P = 0.21) for the screening of recurrence. At pathologic sites with discrepant findings between 18F-FDG-PET and CT/MRI (n = 122), the frequency of accurate diagnosis by 18F-FDG-PET (76%) was higher than that by CT/MRI (24%), especially for the evaluation of the treatment response.

CONCLUSIONS: 18F-FDG-PET is expected to play a significant role in the management of ML patients even after effective treatment is initiated.

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