Computerised tomography in the staging of Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

  • Sarah J. VinnicombeEmail author
  • Rodney H. Reznek


The last 25 years have seen major changes in the imaging investigation and subsequent management of patients with Hodgkin's disease (HD) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL); accurate staging is vital for prognostication and treatment in both, and particularly in HD. The choice of imaging modality for staging depends on its accuracy, impact on clinical decision-making, and availability. Modern CT scanners fulfil most of the desired criteria. The advent of CT scanning, along with the development of ever more effective chemotherapeutic regimens, has resulted in the virtual demise of bipedal lymphangiography (LAG) as a staging tool in patients with lymphoma. It has rendered superfluous a battery of other tests that were in routine use. This contribution reviews the evidence for the use of CT in preference to LAG. CT accurately depicts nodal enlargement above and below the diaphragm, has variable sensitivity for intra-abdominal visceral involvement and is generally outstanding in depicting the extent of disease, especially extranodal extension. Despite the advances in CT technology, there are still areas where CT performs less well (e.g. disease in normal-sized lymph nodes, splenic and bone marrow infiltration). The influence of technical factors, such as the use of intravenous contrast medium, is discussed. In some instances, CT is not the imaging modality of choice and the place of newer techniques such as MRI and endoscopic ultrasound will be reviewed.


Computerised tomography Hodgkin's disease Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma Staging Lymphangiography 


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© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic ImagingSt Bartholomew's HospitalWest Smithfield, LondonUK

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