Indexed on: 19 Oct '04Published on: 19 Oct '04Published in: Radiologic Clinics of North America
FDG-PET imaging has a number of advantages in the management of patients with lymphoma. PET shows a functional metabolic status and gives quantitative information. In addition, PET provides whole-body images that give a comprehensive assessment of disease extent during the staging and followup. Based on the present literature, FDG-PET is at least equivalent to CT for the initial staging of lymphomas. The impact of new technologies of combined PET/CT and fast-scanning CT with contrast has yet to be evaluated in the management of lymphoma patients, however. At this point, FDG-PET and CT must be considered as giving complementary staging information. FDG-PET also has high diagnostic accuracy for restaging lymphoma after initial treatment. FDG-PET has shown high accuracy in the early prediction of response to chemotherapy and in the evaluation of residual masses after chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Therefore, PET is likely to play a major role in tailoring the intensity of the treatment to the individual patient. A pretreatment FDG-PET study is essential for accurate assessment of residual masses and early monitoring of response to the treatment. In addition, a baseline PET scan will help detect relapse or residual disease, because relapse occurs most often in the region of previous disease.