What is the accuracy of CT in thoracic non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) imaging?

Updated: Mar 05, 2019
  • Author: Ali Nawaz Khan, MBBS, FRCS, FRCP, FRCR; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Although CT is highly sensitive in the diagnosis of anterior mediastinal masses, its specificity is low in terms of differentiating benign from malignant lesions and in the classification of the histologic types of malignant lesions. Lung parenchymal involvement in NHL also has a nonspecific appearance on CT and has a wide differential diagnosis.

To be detected on CT imaging, osseous involvement must be focal and associated with bone destruction. Patients with infiltrative marrow involvement have no bone destruction and are usually asymptomatic; their lesions may be difficult to detect on CT. Lastly, CT cannot be used to monitor response to treatment, as residual abnormalities that may represent nonviable fibrotic tissue are frequently detected.


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