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PET-CT staging of DLBCL accurately identifies and provides new insight into the clinical significance of bone marrow involvement
Khan AB, Barrington SF, Mikhaeel NG, Hunt AA, Cameron L, Morris T, Carr R.
Blood. 2013 Jul 4;122(1):61-7.
We investigated whether positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (PET-CT) identifies clinically important bone marrow involvement by diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with sufficient accuracy to replace routine staging bone marrow biopsy. All patients from a single centre diagnosed as DLBCL since 2005 had data extracted from staging PET-CT, marrow biopsy, and treatment records. Of 130 patients, 35 (27%) were judged to have marrow involvement; 33 were identified by PET-CT compared with 14 by marrow histology. PET identified all clinically important marrow lymphoma, while biopsy did not upstage any patient. Sensitivity and specificity were 94% and 100% for PET-CT and 40% and 100% for marrow biopsy. As a secondary aim, we compared the prognosis of marrow involvement, as detected by PET-CT or biopsy. Cases with marrow deposits identified by PET-CT but not biopsy had progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival similar to stage IV disease without involved marrow. Positive biopsy conferred significantly inferior PFS (P = .003); these cases frequently had other markers of poor-risk disease. These data confirm that in experienced hands PET-CT has a high level of accuracy for identifying marrow disease in DLBCL, and provide new insight into the nature and clinical significance of marrow involvement.