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Acta Oncol. 2002;41(5):430-6.

Positron emission tomography for the staging of Hodgkin's lymphoma--increasing the body of evidence in favor of the method.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Hospital of the Johann W. Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.


The staging of Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) is crucial for an optimal therapy, and fluorine-18-deoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) is increasingly used in this regard. However, there is still a scarcity of available data on the staging of HL. Twenty-eight consecutive patients with newly diagnosed HL were included in this study. PET results were compared with conventional staging, including clinical workup, computerized tomography (CT) and sonography. Evaluation was focused on the description of involved lymph node (LN) regions or organs rather than on a lesion-by-lesion analysis. In supradiaphragmal LN, the results of PET and CT scans were positive in 26% and negative in 68% of cases. Furthermore, PET was positive in 5% (CT negative), and CT showed enlarged LN in 1% of cases (PET negative). In infradiaphragmal LN, PET/CT results were positive in 10% and negative in 88% of cases. In 2% of cases, PET showed additional foci, while in 1% the CT was positive. PET changed the staging in 21% of cases (4 up-stagings, 2 down-stagings) and this was confirmed during follow-up. PET should therefore be routinely used for staging HL until larger clinical studies can demonstrate patients who may not require this additional investigation or those patients who are reliably staged on the basis of PET alone.

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