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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 83--85

Peripheral nerves and muscles involvement by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma seen on FDG PET/CT scan

Hina J Shah1, Vikram R Lele1, Abhishek R Keraliya2, Parag S Aland1,  
1 Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of CT and MRI, ESIC hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Hina J Shah
Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
Shah HJ, Lele VR, Keraliya AR, Aland PS. Peripheral nerves and muscles involvement by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma seen on FDG PET/CT scan.Neurol India 2014;62:83-85

How to cite this URL:
Shah HJ, Lele VR, Keraliya AR, Aland PS. Peripheral nerves and muscles involvement by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma seen on FDG PET/CT scan. Neurol India [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Jul 13 ];62:83-85
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Full Text


Neuromuscular involvement by lymphoma is rare and unique entity. Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) is useful diagnostic modality in its evaluation. Here, we present a case of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma involving muscles and peripheral nerves.

A 60-year-old female had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of sacral nerve roots. She had received chemotherapy and radiotherapy for the same. Later, she presented with foot drop and recurrence was suspected. She underwent whole body FDG PET/CT for evaluation of her disease status. Whole body maximum intensity projection PET image [Figure 1] shows increased FDG uptake in subcutaneous soft-tissue density lesions in the right axillary region, pericardial soft-tissue deposit, enlarged sciatic nerves; the fused PET/CT image shows increased FDG uptake in fusiform enlargement of sciatic nerves [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. Increased FDG uptake is also seen in left tibial and peroneal nerves, left soleus [Figure 4] and plantar muscles [Figure 5]. These findings, in view of known history of lymphoma, are suggestive of recurrence of the disease with predominant neuromuscular involvement.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}{Figure 5}

Involvement of peripheral nervous system by lymphoma is termed as "Neurolymphomatosis", the term coined by Lhermitte and Trelles. [1] According to International Primary Central Nervous System (CNS) Lymphoma Collaborative Group who retrospectively analyzed 50 patients, the affected neural structures included peripheral nerves in 60%, spinal nerve roots in 48%, cranial nerves in 46% and plexus in 40% and multiple site involvement in 58%. [2] Nerve involvement in lymphoma is due to direct infiltration of peripheral nerves by lymphomatous cells and neurological complications occur due to direct axonal damage. [3] Four different clinical presentations have been mentioned - painful infiltration of nerves or roots, painful or painless cranial neuropathy, painless involvement of peripheral nerves and painful or painless involvement of a single peripheral nerve. [4] Peripheral neuropathy can also occur as paraneoplastic symptom in some form of lymphoma due to various antibodies. [5],[6]

FDG PET/CT is a well-accepted modality in the evaluation of lymphoma. FDG PET/CT provides a whole body evaluation of anatomical and functional disease status. A single scan can be used to know the location of disease, metabolic activity in abnormal areas and assess response to therapy. Usually FDG PET/CT is acquired until mid-thigh. However, as this patient had foot drop, whole body, that is, additional lower limb acquisition was done. Thus, it is important to note history and individualize scan acquisition protocol.

FDG PET/CT or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to evaluate nerve involvement in lymphoma. In FDG PET/CT, diffuse increased uptake is seen along the involved nerves. [7] On MRI, diffuse enlargement with contrast enhancement is seen in the involved nerves. [4]

According to International Primary CNS Lymphoma Collaborative Group report, FDG PET-CT appears to be a highly sensitive diagnostic method facilitating identification of neurolymphomatosis. [2] According to Rosso et al., FDG PET may have clinical value in diagnosis of neurolymphomatosis, when lymphomatous infiltration in large peripheral nerves or plexus is suspected and when histological biopsy is not possible or is negative. [8]

FDG PET/CT can be used as a single modality to evaluate neurolymphomatosis - to demonstrate multiplicity, activity of the disease, staging and response assessment.


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