FDG PET for therapy monitoring in Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2017 Aug;44(Suppl 1):97-110. doi: 10.1007/s00259-017-3690-8. Epub 2017 Apr 14.


PET using 18F-FDG for treatment monitoring in patients with lymphoma is one of the most well-developed clinical applications. PET/CT is nowadays used during treatment to assess chemosensitivity, with response-adapted therapy given according to 'interim' PET in clinical practice to adults and children with Hodgkin lymphoma. PET is also used to assess remission from disease and to predict prognosis in the pretransplant setting. Mature data have been reported for the common subtypes of aggressive B-cell lymphomas, with more recent data also supporting the use of PET for response assessment in T-cell lymphomas. The Deauville five-point scale incorporating the Deauville criteria (DC) is recommended for response assessment in international guidelines. FDG uptake is graded in relation to the reference regions of normal mediastinum and liver. The DC have been validated in most lymphoma subtypes. The DC permit the threshold for adequate or inadequate response to be adapted according to the clinical context or research question. It is important for PET readers to understand how the DC have been applied in response-adapted trials for correct interpretation and discussion with the multidisciplinary team. Quantitative methods to perform PET in standardized ways have also been developed which may further improve response assessment including a quantitative extension to the DC (qPET). This may have advantages in providing a continuous scale to refine the threshold for adequate/inadequate response in specific clinical situations or treatment optimization in trials. qPET is also less observer-dependent and limits the problem of optical misinterpretation due to the influence of background activity.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Lymphoma; Positron emission tomography; Precision medicine; Therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Hodgkin Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hodgkin Disease / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / therapy*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18