Lymphoma: role of whole-body 2-deoxy-2-[F-18]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) PET in nodal staging

Radiology. 1997 Jun;203(3):795-800. doi: 10.1148/radiology.203.3.9169707.


Purpose: To compare 2-deoxy-2-[fluorine-18]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) with computed tomography (CT) in primary nodal staging of malignant lymphoma.

Materials and methods: Sixty consecutive patients with untreated, histopathologically proved malignant lymphoma (aged 7-72 years; 33 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 27 with Hodgkin disease) underwent FDG PET and contrast material-enhanced CT for nodal staging. Lymph node regions identified at both CT and PET were regarded as actual locations of disease. Discordant results were verified with biopsy or clinical follow-up whenever possible.

Results: One hundred sixty of 740 evaluated lymph node regions were identified as diseased at both CT and PET. Of the 25 additional regions seen with PET, seven were true-positive; two, false-positive; and 16, unresolved. CT showed six additional disease manifestations; three were false-positive, and three were unresolved. Staging was changed in the four patients with the seven confirmed additional PET findings: from stage I to II in one patient and from stage II to III in three patients. Staging was changed from stage II to I in one of the three patients with false-positive CT findings.

Conclusion: FDG PET may be more accurate for detecting nodal lymphoma than incremental CT.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Child
  • Contrast Media
  • Deoxyglucose / analogs & derivatives*
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hodgkin Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes*
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Whole-Body Counting


  • Contrast Media
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Deoxyglucose