Can Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography Be a Substitute for Bone Marrow Biopsy in Detection of Bone Marrow Involvement in Patients with Hodgkin-s or Non-Hodgkin-s Lymphoma?
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Objective: Positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT) has become an important part of staging and treatment evaluation algorithms of lymphoma. We aimed to compare the results of PET/CT with bone marrow biopsy (BMB) with respect to bone marrow involvement (BMI) in patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) and aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (aNHL). Materials and Methods: The medical files of a total of 297 patients diagnosed with HL or aNHL and followed at the hematology clinics of 3 major hospitals in Istanbul between 2008 and 2012 were screened retrospectively and 161 patients with classical HL and aNHL were included in the study. The patients were referred for PET/CT and BMB at the initial staging. BMB was performed as the reference standard for the evaluation of BMI. Results: There were 61 (38%) HL and 100 (62%) aNHL patients. Concordant results were revealed between PET/CT and BMB in 126 patients (78%) (52 HL, 74 aNHL), 20 with positive PET/CT and BMB results and 106 with negative PET/CT and BMB results. There were discordant results in 35 patients (9 HL, 26 aNHL), 16 of them with positive BMB and negative PET/CT results and 19 of them with negative BMB and positive PET/CT results. Conclusion: We observed that PET/CT is effective to detect BMI, despite it alone not being sufficient to evaluate BMI in HL and aNHL. Bone marrow trephine biopsy and PET/CT should be considered as mutually complementary methods for detection of BMI in patients with lymphoma. In suspected focal involvement, combining biopsy and PET/CT might improve staging results.