Different roles of surveillance positron emission tomography according to the histologic subtype of non-hodgkin’s lymphoma

Yu Ri Kim, Soo Jeong Kim, June Won Cheong, Yundeok Kim, Ji Eun Jang, Hyunsoo Cho, Haerim Chung, Yoo Hong Min, Woo Ick Yang, Arthur Cho, Jin Seok Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: Although the use of surveillance18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) is discouraged in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, its usefulness in different subtypes has not been thoroughly investigated. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 157 patients who showed positive results on surveillance FDG-PET/CT every 6 months following complete response for up to 5 years. All of the patients also underwent biopsies. Results: Seventy-eight (49.6%) of 157 patients had true positive results; the remaining 79 (50.3%), including eight (5.1%) with secondary malignancies, were confirmed to yield false positive results. Among the 78 patients with true positive results, the disease in seven (8.9%) had transformed to a different subtype. The positive predictive value (PPV) of FDG-PET/CT for aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) was lower than that for indolent B-cell or aggressive T-cell NHL (p = 0.003 and p = 0.018, respectively), especially in patients with a low/low-intermediate international prognostic index (IPI) upon a positive PET/CT finding. On the other hand, indolent B-cell and aggressive T-cell NHL patients showed PPVs of > 60%, including those with low/low-intermediate secondary IPIs. Conclusions: The role of FDG-PET/CT surveillance is limited, and differs according to the lymphoma subtype. FDG-PET/CT may be useful in detecting early relapse in patients with aggressive T-cell NHL, including those with low/low-in-termediate risk secondary IPI; as already known, FDG-PET/CT has no role in aggressive B-cell NHL. Repeat biopsy should be performed to discriminate relapse or transformation from false positive findings in patients with positive surveillance FDG-PET/CT results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S245-S252
JournalKorean Journal of Internal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Korean Association of Internal Medicine.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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