Imaging of Malignant Lymphomas with F-18 FDG Coincidence Detection Positron Emission Tomography
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PURPOSE: The authors evaluated the utility of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) coincidence detection (CoDe) positron emission tomography (PET) for staging, post-treatment evaluation, and follow-up assessment of patients with malignant lymphomas. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-eight patients with histologically proved malignant lymphomas (4 Hodgkin's disease, 54 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) underwent CoDe PET using F-18 FDG. CoDe PET was performed using a dual-head gamma camera equipped with coincidence detection circuitry. Of the 87 CoDe PET studies, 26 were performed for staging, 38 for post-treatment evaluation, and 23 for follow-up evaluation of recurrence. The entire trunk, from the cervical to the inguinal regions, or selected regions were scanned with the patient in the supine position. No attenuation correction was made and reconstruction was performed using filtered back-projection rather than iterative reconstruction. CoDe PET findings were compared with corresponding results of computed tomographic (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), tissue biopsy, or clinical follow-up. RESULTS: For staging, 52 sites were positive on CoDe PET or CT-MRI. CoDe PET detected 49 sites (94%), and CT-MRI showed 47 sites (90%). CoDe PET detected five more lymphomatous lesions and missed three lesions. For post-treatment evaluation, CoDe PET showed a positive predictive value of 100% and a negative predictive value of 83%, but the validated cases numbered only 11. For follow-up for recurrence, CoDe PET had a negative predictive value of 90%, but frequent false-positive findings were noted in the head and neck region as a result of underlying inflammatory changes. CONCLUSIONS: For staging, FDG CoDe PET alone without attenuation correction is not sensitive enough to be used as an independent imaging method, especially for small abdominal lesions. However, it appears to be an accurate method for assessing residual disease and for patient follow-up.
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