18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography in AIDS-related Burkitt lymphoma

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2008 Sep;22(9):695-700. doi: 10.1089/apc.2008.0174.


This study aims to describe 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) findings in patients with AIDS-related Burkitt lymphoma, at various times of treatment, and to define its utility for a better patient management. We retrospectively studied 13 consecutive HIV-positive patients with Burkitt lymphoma who underwent one or more PET/CT. In 5 of 5 patients imaged before treatment, PET/CT confirmed all involved sites detected at conventional work-up and demonstrated additional sites in 4 of 5 patients. Lymph node involvement, which is known to be uncommon in endemic or sporadic Burkitt lymphoma, was present in 54% of patients. Additionally, in 3 patients, Burkitt lymphoma was predominantly located in parotid lymph nodes, which is also an unusual finding. A negative scan was encountered in 3 of 10 patients imaged during treatment and in 1 of 4 patients imaged after treatment completion and was always associated with lasting complete remission. Presence of residual area of uptake was related to both favorable and unfavorable outcome whether performed during treatment (5/7 and 2/7, respectively) or after (1/3 and 2/3, respectively). Areas of increased uptake could be observed in lung (4 cases) or esophagus (3 cases), and were clinically related to pneumonia or esophagitis. We recommend PET/CT for accurate initial staging of patients with AIDS-related Burkitt lymphoma. PET/CT is also useful to monitor treatment response, as regression of initial disease can be early observed. Furthermore, PET/CT appears to have prognostic value, as a negative scan was always associated with a favorable outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / diagnosis*
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphoma, AIDS-Related / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, AIDS-Related / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals* / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18