What is the role of CT scanning in the workup of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)?

Updated: Aug 20, 2020
  • Author: Shipra Gandhi, MBBS; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

CT scans of the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis are used to help identify the degree of lymphadenopathy, the presence or absence of extranodal disease, and/or the presence of visceral involvement. CT scans are also part of the complete staging workup for diffuse large cell lymphoma.

In addition, baseline CT-scan findings aid in disease follow-up care after chemotherapy to assess the degree of response to therapy; they also aid in planning consolidating radiation therapy, if used. (See the images below.)

Computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen showing mesenteric and retroperitoneal adenopathy in a patient with diffuse large cell lymphoma.

Computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen showi Computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen showing mesenteric and retroperitoneal adenopathy in a patient with diffuse large cell lymphoma.

Patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with extranodal involvement. This computed tomography (CT) scan shows an enlarged spleen and liver as a result of lymphomatous involvement.

Patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with ex Patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with extranodal involvement. This computed tomography (CT) scan shows an enlarged spleen and liver as a result of lymphomatous involvement.

Patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with extranodal involvement (same patient as in the previous image). This patient has an enlarged spleen and liver as a result of lymphomatous involvement. Extensive retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy is also present.

Patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with ex Patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with extranodal involvement (same patient as in the previous image). This patient has an enlarged spleen and liver as a result of lymphomatous involvement. Extensive retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy is also present.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Hematoxylin and eosin stain of a lymph node biopsy sample showing a mixture of large and small cells. The architecture of the node is lost, with a diffuse pattern of involvement.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Hematoxylin and eos Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Hematoxylin and eosin stain of a lymph node biopsy sample showing a mixture of large and small cells. The architecture of the node is lost, with a diffuse pattern of involvement.

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