Use of FDG-PET/CT for systemic assessment of suspected primary central nervous system lymphoma: a LOC study


Bertaux M, et al. J Neurooncol 2020.


INTRODUCTION: Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma (PCNSL) is a rare disease with different therapeutic implications than systemic lymphoma. In this study, we evaluated whole-body 18FDG-PET/CT for pre-chemotherapy imaging of suspected PCNSL.

METHODS: One hundred and thirty consecutive immunocompetent patients were retrospectively included. The results of initial 18FDG-PET/CT, contrast-enhanced CT (CeCT) and bone marrow biopsy (BMB) when available were compared to a gold standard based on pathological diagnosis or follow-up.

RESULTS: CNS lesion pathology showed large B-cell lymphoma in 95% of patients, including 11 patients with primary vitro-retinal lymphoma. Ten patients (8%) where ultimately diagnosed with systemic lymphoma involvement, including five pathologically confirmed cases, all of which were detected by 18FDG-PET/CT. 18FDG-PET/CT showed incidental systemic findings unrelated to lymphoma in 14% of patients. An SUVmax threshold of nine enabled good discrimination between systemic lymphoma and other lesions (sensitivity 92% and specificity 89%). CeCT and BMB performed in 108 and 77 patients respectively revealed systemic lesions in only three patients.

CONCLUSION: 18FDG-PET/CT detected concomitant occult systemic involvement in a non-negligible proportion of suspected PCNSL cases (8%). In this setting its sensitivity is higher than that of CeCT. All of our patients ultimately diagnosed with concomitant systemic involvement had positive 18FDG-PET/CT. We believe it constitutes a safe one-stop shop evaluation for the systemic pre-treatment imaging of suspected PCNSL.