Background. Positron emission tomography (PET) differentiates normal from abnormal cells based on metabolic activity. Numerous studies report that PET scan offers increased sensitivity, specificity and predictive values as compared to computed tomography (CT) in adult lymphoma patients. Procedure. Twenty-three consecutive pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients were evaluated with PET scan either at diagnosis or during treatment, then at therapy completion and in follow-up. Results. Twenty two of the 23 patients had a negative PET scan at the end of therapy; however, ten later developed a positive scan for a total of 11 (47.8%) patients with a positive post treatment PET scan. Six tissue biopsies were performed in five patients; four specimens were negative for disease and two confirmed HL relapse. Six patients were monitored clinically and remained asymptomatic; four had resolution of abnormalities on repeat PET while two had persistently positive, but stable PET scan findings and continue to be in remission at 11 and 40 months following treatment. Twelve (52.2%) patients of the original cohort have had consistently negative PET scans and have not relapsed. Conclusions. PET is a sensitive (100%), but not a specific (57.1%) method for evaluating post-treatment pediatric HL patients with a strong negative predictive value (NPV; 100%), but poor positive predictive value (PPV; 18.2%). We do not recommend treatment decisions be based solely on PET scan results.
- Hodgkin lymphoma
- Positron emission tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health