Correlative Imaging Strategies Implementing CT, MRI, and PET for Staging of Childhood Hodgkin Disease

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The value of different correlative imaging strategies with F18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and conventional imaging modalities (CIM) for initial staging of pediatric Hodgkin disease (HD) was assessed.


Thirty-three patients (age, 4 to 18 y) with histologically proven HD underwent initial staging with computed tomography (thorax), magnetic resonance imaging (neck, abdomen, pelvis), and FDG-PET in a prospective study. Image fusion (PET-CIM) was performed using a semiautomatic voxel-based algorithm. Analysis of separate, side-by-side (SBS) and fused PET and CIM was performed evaluating 21 nodal and 6 extranodal regions per patient for presence of lymphoma, applying a 5-point confidence scale. The reference data was clinical follow-up (>12 mo).


Concerning lymph node regions above and below the diaphragm the accuracy of CIM, PET, SBS, and image fusion was 86%, 89%, 94%, 97%, and 94%, 94%, 97%, 98%. In extranodal regions, the accuracy was 96%, 96%, 100%, and 100%. The reviewers' confidence was improved significantly by image fusion. Staging and therapy assignment on the basis of CIM was correctly modified by SBS in 5 and 4, by image fusion in 7 and 5 patients.


Combined reading of FDG-PET and CIM is crucial for accurate staging in pediatric HD. Image fusion improves the observers' confidence and has impact on the therapeutic management.

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