Prospective study of bone marrow infiltration in aggressive lymphoma by three independent methods: Whole-body MRI, PET/CT and bone marrow biopsy

Vincent Ribrag, Daniel Vanel, Sophie Leboulleux, Jean Lumbroso, Dominique Couanet, Guillaume Bonniaud, Anne Aupérin, Florence Masson, Jacques Bosq, Véronique Edeline, Christophe Fermé, Frédéric Pigneur, Martin Schlumberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Initial lymphoma staging requires bone marrow assessment in aggressive lymphomas. Bone marrow lymphoma infiltration is routinely assessed by bone marrow biopsy (BMB), considered as the "gold standard". The aim of this study was to compare the performance of BMB, whole-body MRI and PET/CT for evaluation of BM infiltration. Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed aggressive lymphoma were evaluated by BMB, MRI and PET/CT. Two radiologists, two nuclear medicine physicians and one pathologist independently assessed the results of the three modalities. Bone was considered as involved if BM was positive or if PET/CT or MRI was positive and if there was a resolution of the abnormal image shown on PET/CT or MRI halfway or at the end of therapy. Results: Both MRI and PET/CT detected bone marrow lesions in the 9/43 patients, but two patients with multiple lesions had more lesions detected by PET/CT compared to MRI. Among these nine patients, two with an iliac crest lesion detected by both MRI and PET/CT had bone marrow involvement with large-cell lymphoma on histological examination. The other seven patients had focal MRI and PET/CT lesions in areas other than the iliac crest, where the blind BMB was done. The other patients had bone marrow without large-cell lymphoma involvement. In all cases, after lymphoma therapy bone marrow involvement regressed on histological examination, PET and MRI. Conclusion: These preliminary results suggest that non-invasive morphological procedures could be superior to BMB for bone marrow assessment in aggressive lymphomas. Ongoing study is underway to validate these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Bone marrow biopsy
  • Lymphomas
  • MRI
  • PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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