DOI: 10.1007/s00259-018-4198-6Pages: 1-11

Prognostic analysis of interim 18F-FDG PET/CT in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma after one cycle versus two cycles of chemotherapy

1. First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Department of Nuclear Medicine

2. Tumor Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Department of PET/CT

3. University Hospital Magdeburg, Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine

4. Tumor Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Department of Hematology

5. Medical University of Vienna, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy

6. Tumor Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Department of Pathology

Correspondence to:
Sijin Li




18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) is routinely used in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) for staging, assessment of remission and recurrence, and estimation of therapeutic efficacy. In this study, we aimed to assess the role of an early interim PET/computed tomography (CT) in the evaluation of response in DLBCL.


Sixty primary DLBCL patients (31 females) were analyzed. Baseline and follow-up 18F-FDG PET/CT was performed in patients after one cycle (n = 30) and two cycles (n = 30) of chemotherapy. The ΔSUVmax% was calculated. Patients were additionally evaluated using the conventional Deauville five-point scale (D-5PS) system. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was employed to characterize the MYC gene status. We determined the optimum cutoff value of ΔSUVmax% using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Kaplan–Meier analysis was applied to test for the influence of prognostic values.


The optimal cutoff for the prediction of treatment outcome was a ΔSUVmax% of 57% (after one cycle) and 63% (after two cycles); we could not detect a difference in accuracy with respect to a PET scan performed after one cycle and two cycles of chemotherapy (P  > 0.05). The ΔSUVmax% and the D-5PS (score 5) showed the highest prognostic value compared to a score of 3 and/or 4 (both after one cycle and two cycles). No significant difference in sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, or the area of under the curve (AUC) of ΔSUVmax% and D-5PS (score 5) was observed between PETs performed after one cycle or two cycles of therapy (P  > 0.05). ΔSUVmax%, D-5PS (score 5), and MYC gene rearrangement correlated significantly (P  < 0.001).


Interim 18F-FDG PET/CT after one cycle of chemotherapy is feasible and yields similar predictive results as compared to an interim 18F-FDG PET/CT after two cycles of chemotherapy in patients suffering from DLBCL. The combination of interim 18F-FDG PET/CT with the MYC gene diagnosis might provide increased prognostic value for DLBCL.

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  • Accepted: Oct 17, 2018
  • Online: Oct 31, 2018

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