Purpose: To compare the use of fluorine 18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) with the use of a combination of ultrasonography (US) and chest radiography for systematic follow-up of patients with high-risk Hodgkin lymphoma. Materials and Methods: Institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained. In a single center between January 2001 and December 2009, patients with advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma who had responded completely to first-line treatment were randomly assigned (1:1) to follow-up with either PET/CT or US/chest radiography. Follow-up included clinical and imaging procedures at 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 30, 36, 48, 60, 84, and 108 months after treatment discontinuation. When clinical and/or imaging results were positive, recurrence was confirmed histologically. The primary endpoint was to compare the sensitivity of the two follow-up imaging approaches. Secondary endpoints were their specificity, positive and negative predictive values, time to recurrence detection, radiation risks, and costs. Results: A total of 300 patients were randomized into the two arms. The study was closed after a median follow-up time of 60 months, with a relapse rate of 27%. Sensitivity for detection of Hodgkin lymphoma was similar for the two follow-up approaches. All of the relapses (40 of 40) were identified with FDG PET/CT (100%) and 39 of 40 relapses were identified with US/chest radiography (97.5%; P = .0001 for the equivalence test). US/chest radiography showed significantly higher specificity and positive predictive value than did PET/CT (96% [106 of 110] vs 86% [95 of 110], respectively; P = .02; and 91% [39 of 43] vs 73% [40 of 55], respectively; P = .01). Exposure to ionizing radiation was estimated to be 14.5 mSv for one PET/CT examination versus 0.1 mSv for one chest radiographic examination. Estimated cost per relapse diagnosed with routine PET/CT was 10-fold higher compared with that diagnosed with routine US/chest radiography. Conclusion: US and chest radiography are diagnostic tools that enable effective, safe, and low-cost routine surveillance imaging for patients at high risk of Hodgkin lymphoma relapse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging