Aggressive B cell lymphoma often requires prompt steroid treatment, even before baseline 18f-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and definitive treatment, to alleviate symptoms or prevent organ damage. Since lymphoma is a steroid-sensitive malignancy, there are concerns that steroids might affect the results of FDG PET/CT and decrease its diagnostic yield. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of steroids administered before baseline PET/CT on the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) and additional PET/CT parameters. Retrospective review of the database in a tertiary medical center yielded 178 patients newly diagnosed with aggressive B cell lymphoma between January 2017 and May 2020 who had an available baseline FDG PET/CT scan. The cohort was divided into patients who received steroids before PET/CT (n = 47) and those who did not (n = 131), and the groups were compared for SUVmax and additional PET/CT parameters. The steroid-treated group had a higher disease stage and lactate dehydrogenase level compared to the steroid-naïve group, with a trend toward a higher international prognostic index. There was no significant between-group difference in SUVmax (P = 0.61). This finding remained consistent across steroid treatment durations and dosage regimens. Further evaluation revealed a significantly larger mean tumor volume and a trend toward a higher tumor metabolic burden in the steroid-treated group, yet no between-group difference in SUV mean or other PET/CT parameters. In this retrospective analysis of patients with aggressive B cell lymphoma, steroid prophase prior to baseline PET/CT did not decrease the diagnostic yield of the scan. However, further studies are required to fully appreciate the impact of steroids on PET CT parameters.
- PET CT