Send to

Choose Destination
Blood. 1998 May 1;91(9):3340-6.

Detection of lymphoma in bone marrow by whole-body positron emission tomography.

Author information

Departments of Haematology, Histopathology, Clinical Oncology and The Clinical PET Centre, United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas's, London, UK.


Positron emission tomography (PET) is a whole-body imaging technique using 18 fluorine-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), whose uptake is increased in tumor cells. Published studies have shown PET to be an effective method of staging lymphoma and to be more sensitive than CT at detecting extranodal disease. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the increased marrow uptake of FDG observed in some lymphoma patients during routine staging PET scans represented marrow involvement by disease. PET scans of 50 patients with Hodgkin's (12) and non-Hodgkin's (38) lymphoma were analyzed by three independent observers and the marrow graded as normal or abnormal using a visual grading system. Unilateral iliac crest marrow aspirates and biopsies were performed on all patients. The PET scan and marrow histology agreed in 39 patients (78%), being concordant positive in 13 and concordant negative in 26 patients. In 8 patients the PET scan showed increased FDG uptake but staging biopsy was negative; in 4 of these 8 patients the PET scan showed a normal marrow background with focal FDG "hot spots" distant from the site biopsied. In 3 patients the marrow biopsy specimen was positive but the PET scan normal; 2 of these 3 patients had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma whose malignant cells did not take up FDG at lymph node or marrow disease sites. Therefore, there were only 5 patients (10%) in whom there was a difference between the PET scan and biopsy result which could not be fully explained. Visual interpretation of marrow FDG uptake during whole-body staging PET scans can correctly assess marrow disease status in a high proportion of lymphoma patients. PET has the potential to reduce the need for staging marrow biopsy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center