• non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma;
  • positron emission tomography;
  • computed tomography;
  • standardised uptake value


Objectives:  Positron emission tomography using 2-[fluorine-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (18F-FDG) is considered to be the most beneficial imaging method for staging patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). The intensity of 18F-FDG accumulation may be determined by calculating the so-called standardised uptake value (SUV). The study aimed at assessing the benefit of SUVmax determination in staging 18F-FDG PET/CT in untreated patients with NHL.

Methods:  One hundred and forty-nine initial staging 18F-FDG PET/CT scans performed in patients with NHL between January 2007 and August 2009 were assessed, and the SUVmax was determined.

Results:  The highest mean and median values of SUVmax were observed in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the lowest mean and median values were found in small lymphocytic lymphoma. The overlap in SUVmax < 10 between DLBCL and the other subgroups of NHL was very significant. Statistically, no correlation was found between the lactate dehydrogenase and SUVmax values. On the other hand, a correlation of the Ki-67 proliferative index of tumour cells and SUVmax was revealed (r = 0.409, P < 0.001). The geometric mean of SUVmax in patients with Ki-67 ≤ 60 and those with Ki-67 > 60 was 8.8 and 14.3, respectively (P < 0.001).

Conclusions:  The results confirm that SUVmax is not beneficial for making a more precise diagnosis in most patients with NHL. Correlation of SUVmax with the Ki-67 values suggests that SUVmax might have a prognostic values in NHL.