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Semin Nucl Med. 2004 Jul;34(3):166-79.

Positron emission tomography in the evaluation of lymphoma.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Rambam Medical Center and B. Rappaport School of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.


Positron emission tomography (PET) using (18)F-fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG) has emerged in recent years as an important tool for the evaluation of lymphoma patients during their course of disease. At diagnosis, FDG imaging is capable of detecting nodal and extra nodal sites of disease and provides accurate staging. FDG-PET is superior to computed tomography, during and at the end of first-line treatment or salvage therapeutic regimens, as a tool for monitoring therapeutic response. PET enables the differential diagnosis of residual viable tumor versus a remnant fibrotic or necrotic mass. PET also provides prognostic data of high clinical significance for both Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Results of this metabolic imaging modality, interpreted in view of the pretherapy risk profile of the individual patient, are predictive of the immediate success of a certain therapeutic strategy, as well as of overall and disease-free survival. PET appears to play also an important role in the detection of lymphoma relapse. Data comparing (67)Gallium scintigraphy and FDG-PET indicate the latter as the functional imaging modality of choice for assessment of lymphoma patients. Preliminary studies show an additional value of fused PET/computed tomography imaging for further improved diagnosis, staging and definition of status of lymphoma.

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