Diagnostic accuracy of positron emission tomography/computed tomography-driven biopsy for the diagnosis of lymphoma

Alessandro Broccoli, Cristina Nanni, Alberta Cappelli, Francesco Bacci, Alessandro Gasbarrini, Elena Tabacchi, Carlo Piovani, Lisa Argnani, Riccardo Ghermandi, Elena Sabattini, Rita Golfieri, Stefano Fanti, Pier Luigi Zinzani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Biopsy of affected tissue is required for lymphoma diagnosis and to plan treatment. Open incisional biopsy is traditionally the method of choice. Nevertheless, it requires hospitalization, availability of an operating room, and sometimes general anesthesia, and it is associated with several drawbacks. Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) can be potentially used to drive biopsy to the most metabolically active area within a lymph node or extranodal masses.

METHODS: A study of diagnostic accuracy was conducted to assess the performance of a PET-driven needle biopsy in patients with suspect active lymphoma.

RESULTS: Overall, 99 procedures have been performed: three (3.0%) were interrupted because of pain but were successfully repeated in two cases. Median SUVmax of target lesions was 10.7. In 84/96 cases, the tissue was considered adequate to formulate a diagnosis (diagnostic yield of 87.5%) and to guide the following clinical decision. The target specimen was a lymph node in 60 cases and an extranodal site in 36. No serious adverse events occurred. The sensitivity of this procedure was 96%, with a specificity of 100%, a positive predictive value of 100%, and a negative predictive value of 75%.

CONCLUSION: Patients can benefit from a minimally invasive procedure which allows a timely and accurate diagnosis of lymphoma at onset or relapse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3058-3065
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number13
Early online dateJun 15 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Computed tomography
  • Diagnosis
  • Diagnostic accuracy
  • Driven biopsy
  • Lymphoma
  • Positron emission tomography


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