Imaging of extranodal lymphoma with PET/CT

Clin Nucl Med. 2011 Oct;36(10):e127-38. doi: 10.1097/RLU.0b013e31821c99cd.


Hodgkin disease (HD) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) represent a spectrum of malignant neoplasms arising from the lymphoid system with an incidence of around 8% of all malignancies. Although they are generally known as tumors of lymph nodes, 25% to 40% of HD/NHL tumors, especially NHL, arise at extranodal sites along the gastrointestinal tract, head and neck, orbit, central and peripheral nervous system, thorax, bone, skin, breast, testis, thyroid, and genitourinary tract. Extranodal involvement is an important pretreatment prognostic factor for patients with lymphoma and its incidence has increased in the past 2 decades. Imaging plays an important role in the noninvasive pretreatment assessment of patients with extranodal lymphoma. This involvement can be subtle and may be overlooked during computed tomography (CT). Positron emission tomography/CT (PET/CT) has evolved into an important imaging tool for evaluation of lymphomas, facilitating the detection of affected extranodal sites even when CT shows subtle or no obvious lesions. Familiarity with extranodal manifestations and suggestive PET/CT features in different sites is important for accurate evaluation of lymphoma. This article reviews the extranodal PET/CT imaging findings regarding HD and NHL.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hodgkin Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / diagnostic imaging
  • Multimodal Imaging*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*