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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular imaging 2011 October;55(5):567-75


language: English

Diagnostic value of CT, PET and combined PET/CT performed with low-dose unenhanced CT and full-dose enhanced CT in the initial staging of lymphoma

Pinilla I. 1, Gómez-León N. 1, Del Campo-Del Val L. 2, Hernandez-Maraver D. 3, Rodríguez-Vigil B. 1, Jover-Díaz R. 4, Coya J. 1

1 Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Hospital Universitario La Paz Madrid, Spain; 2 Department of Radiology, Hospital Universitario la Princesa, Madrid, Spain; 3 Department of Hematology, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain; 4 Unidad PET/TC MDA Anderson, Madrid, Spain


AIM: The aim of this paper was to compare the accuracy of contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), unenhanced low-dose PET/CT (LD-PET/CT) and full-dose enhanced PET/CT (FD-PET/CT) for the initial staging of lymphoma.
METHODS:One hundred and one lymphoma patients were examined by [18F]FDG-PET/CT including unenhanced low-dose CT and enhanced full-dose CT. Each modality of PET/CT was evaluated by a nuclear medicine physician and a radiologist unaware of the other modality, while the CT and PET images were interpreted separately by another independent radiologist and nuclear medicine physician respectively. The nodal and extranodal lesions detected by each technique were compared with a reference standard.
RESULTS:For nodal assessment, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), positive likelihood ratio (LR+), and negative LR (LR-) of LD-PET/CT were 97%, 96%, 98%, 95%, 26 and 0.02 respectively, and those of FD-PET/CT were 97%, 97%, 98%, 95%, 36 and 0.02. These results were significantly better than those of PET (sensitivity 82%, specificity 81%, PPV 88%, NPV 72%, LR+ 4.3, LR- 0.21). Likewise, both PET/CT displayed a higher sensitivity, NPV and LR- than CT (91%, 84%, 0.1 respectively). For organ evaluation, both modalities of PET/CT also had significantly better sensitivity and NPV than that of PET (LD-PET/CT: sensitivity 92%, NPV 90%; FD-PET/CT sensitivity 94%, NPV 92%; PET: sensitivity 70%, NPV 69%). The sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV for bone marrow involvement were 29%, 84%, 45% and 72% respectively for PET, and 29%, 90%, 56%, and 74% for both, LD-PET/CT, and FD-PET/CT. No significant differences were found between LD-PET/CT and FD-PET/CT, but FD-PET/CT detected important incidental findings in 5.9% of patients.
CONCLUSION: PET/CT is an accurate technique for the initial staging of lymphomas without significant differences between LD-PET/CT and FD-PET/CT. FD-PET/CT detects relevant incidental findings that are missed on LD-PET/CT.

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