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Korean J Intern Med. 2019 Jul;34(4):894-901. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2017.174. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Costs and clinical outcomes of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in first remission: role of PET/CT surveillance.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.



The role of [18F]-f luorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT) in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in first remission is unclear.


Medical costs within the first 3 years of treatment completion and clinical outcomes of 118 patients with DLBCL in first remission with and without surveillance PET/CT (PET/CT [+] group [n = 76] and PET/CT [-] group [n = 42], respectively) were retrospectively analyzed.


In a propensity matched cohort with adjustment for International Prognostic Index risk and relapse, the PET/CT (+) group was shown to have similar medical costs as the PET/CT (-) group. Relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) were comparable between the two groups (median RFS not reached [NR] for both groups, p = 0.133; median OS NR, p = 0.542). Among 76 patients with surveillance PET/CT, 31 (40.8%) had findings suggestive of recurrence and 16 of these (51.6%) were later confirmed to have recurrent disease. Fifteen patients (48.4%) were confirmed to not have recurrence after follow-up CT or PET/CT evaluation (n = 10) and biopsy (n = 4). None of the patients with negative PET/CT findings had disease recurrence. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of PET/CT for detection of recurrence were 1, 0.75, 0.52, and 1, respectively.


Surveillance PET/CT resulted in similar clinical outcomes and medical costs compared to no surveillance PET/CT. Approximately half of patients with PET/CT findings of recurrence had no recurrence after follow-up imaging and biopsy, which would not have been carried out if PET/CT had not been performed in the first place.


Costs and cost analysis; Lymphoma, large B-cell, diffuse; Positron emission tomography computed tomography; Sensitivity and specificity; Survival

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