The value of 18F-FDG PET in pediatric patients with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder at initial diagnosis

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PTLD is a serious complication of both solid organ and BMT. This study assessed whether 18F-FDG PET, when added to CT scan, had additional value in the initial evaluation of PTLD in pediatric patients and whether PET/CT at baseline can reliably guide biopsy. This retrospective study evaluated 34 consecutive pediatric patients (14 female), aged 3.5–17.0 yr (mean age: 9.9 yr, s.d.: 4.9 yr), who had undergone 18F-FDG PET/CT from May 2007 to December 2014 at initial diagnosis of PTLD following heart (n = 13), lung (n = 8), kidney (n = 4), liver (n = 3), liver and bowel (n = 3), and bone marrow (n = 3) transplantation. PTLD was diagnosed histopathologically in 33 patients and was based on clinical findings, elevated EBV, and imaging and follow-up results in one patient. On lesion-based analysis, 18F-FDG PET showed more lesions than conventional CT scan (168 vs. 134), but CT revealed 22 lesions negative on PET. On per patient analysis, PET detected more lesions in 13 patients, CT identified more abnormalities in seven, and both showed the same number of lesions in 14. Adding 18F-FDG PET to CT scans upstaged the disease in seven patients (20.5%). A combination of 18F-FDG PET and CT was also useful in guiding biopsy, being positive in 36 of 39 samples (92.3%). These findings indicated that 18F-FDG PET and CT are complementary at initial staging of pediatric PTLD and that 18F-FDG PET/CT scanning can guide biopsies.

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