F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computerized tomography (PET/CT) is considered to be the most beneficial imaging method for staging patients with lymphoma. Whether maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), metabolic tumor volume (MTV) and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) acquired from F-18 FDG PET/CT are predictors of prognosis of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is controversial, with some studies concluding that it is and others concluding the opposite. Therefore, a systematic review was performed to explore the relationship of F-18 FDG PET/CT quantization parameters with the prognosis of DLBCL. Seven trials with a total of 703 DLBCL patients were included for analysis. Hazard ratios (HRs) for progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), and odds ratios (ORs) for 3-year PFS and OS were pooled using the STATA package. Combined results suggested a strong link between the high SUVmax, MTV and TLG values and the poor 3-year PFS with ORs of 2.59, 3.69 and 2.29, respectively. Similarly, high MTV and TLG values unfavorably influenced the 3-year OS with ORs of 5.40 and 2.19, respectively. The pooled results also showed that high SUVmax and MTV were negative predictors of PFS with HRs of 1.61 (p = 0.038) and 2.18 (p = 0.000), respectively. The TLG value was not predictive of PFS. And for OS, only high MTV was a strong predictor of poor prognosis in DLBCL with HR 2.99 (p = 0.000). Our results suggested that SUVmax and MTV may be significant prognostic markers for PFS and MTV may be the only predictor for OS in DLBCL.
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