18f-Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography Versus Bone Marrow Biopsy for the Evaluation of Bone Marrow Infiltration in Newly Diagnosed Lymphoma Patients


Rev Invest Clin. 2020 May 7;73(5). doi: 10.24875/RIC.20000239. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Bone marrow evaluation (BME) is crucial for establishing an accurate staging and prognosis in lymphoma patients.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to study the diagnostic performance of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography (FDG PET-CT) against bone marrow biopsy (BMB) for BME.

METHODS: Five hundred patient files of newly diagnosed lymphoma patients treated at an academic medical center were reviewed for BME at diagnosis by BMB and FDG PET-CT. Diagnostic performance of FDG PET-CT for detecting bone marrow infiltration (BMI)was assessed, as well as clinical predictors for positive BMB and positive FDG PET-CT.

RESULTS: BMB was positive in 16.3% of all patients, and 28.7% had a positive FDG PET-CT for BMI. Overall, the sensitivity of FDG PET-CT was 74.1% and specificity 80.1%. As for predictors for BMB and FDG PET-CT positivity, B symptoms and thrombocytopenia were independent factors for BMI. Seventy-four patients had discordant results between BMB and FDG PET-CT, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) having the most significant discordance. This discrepancy did not affect treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: FDG PET-CT shows excellent performance for the detection of BMI in Hodgkin lymphoma. For diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, we recommend performing BMB and FDG PET-CT as complementary tests. In all other NHL, a unilateral BMB is mandatory at diagnosis.