Interobserver agreement of interim and end-of-treatment F-FDG PET/CT in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL): impact on clinical practice and trials

Coreline N. Burggraaff, Alexander C. Cornelisse, Otto S. Hoekstra, Pieternella J. Lugtenburg, Bart de Keizer, Anne I. J. Arens, Filiz Celik, Julia E. Huijbregts, Henrica C. W. de Vet, Josée M. Zijlstra

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We aimed to assess the interobserver agreement of interim PET (I-PET) and end-of-treatment PET (EoT-PET) using the Deauville score (DS) in first-line diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients. Methods: I-PET and EoT-PET scans of DLBCL patients were performed in the HOVON84 study (2007–2012), an international multicenter randomized controlled trial. Patients received R-CHOP14 and were randomized to receive rituximab intensification in the first 4 cycles or not. I-PET was performed after 4 cycles (for observational purposes), and EoT-PET after 6 or 8 cycles. Two independent central reviewers retrospectively scored all scans according to the DS system, masked to clinical outcomes. Results were dichotomized as negative (DS of 1–3) or positive (DS of 4–5). Besides percentage overall agreement (OA), we calculated agreement for positive and negative scores, expressed as positive agreement (PA) and negative agreement (NA), respectively. Results: 465 I-PET and 457 EoT-PET scans were centrally reviewed; baseline18F-FDG PET or PET/CT was available in 75%–77%, and CT in the remaining cases. Percentage OA for I-PET and EoT-PET were 87.7% and 91.7% (P 5 0.049), with NA of 92.0% and 95.0% (P 5 0.091), and PA of 73.7% and 76.3% (P 5 0.656), respectively. Conclusion: Interobserver agreement using DS in DLBCL patients in I-PET and EoT-PET yields high OA and NA. The lower PA suggests that EoT-PET/CT treatment evaluation in daily practice and I-PET–adapted trials may benefit from dual reads and central review, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1831-1836
JournalJournal of nuclear medicine
Issue number12
Early online date4 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Deauville score
  • Lugano criteria
  • observer variation
  • positron emission tomography

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