World Journal of Nuclear Medicine

: 2017  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 166--168

False negative 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography in primary b-cell lymphoma of the bone

Matthieu Pelletier-Galarneau1, Patrick Martineau1, Raymond Lambert2, Sophie Turpin2,  
1 Division of Nuclear Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
2 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Hopital Ste-Justine, Quebec, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Matthieu Pelletier-Galarneau
Division of Nuclear Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6


We present a case of a 15-year-old male with primary bone lymphoma who was initially referred for suspicion of chronic osteomyelitis of the mandible. A bone scan and gallium scan demonstrated congruent uptake in the mandible, suggestive of chronic osteomyelitis. A biopsy subsequently showed B-cell lymphoma of the bone with low Ki-67. A fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) scan performed before therapy for staging revealed no increased uptake in the mandible. This case shows an atypical presentation of a rare disorder and is presented to emphasize the importance of baseline FDG-PET.

How to cite this article:
Pelletier-Galarneau M, Martineau P, Lambert R, Turpin S. False negative 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography in primary b-cell lymphoma of the bone.World J Nucl Med 2017;16:166-168

How to cite this URL:
Pelletier-Galarneau M, Martineau P, Lambert R, Turpin S. False negative 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography in primary b-cell lymphoma of the bone. World J Nucl Med [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Aug 11 ];16:166-168
Available from:

Full Text


A 15-year-old male with a remote history of oral abscess treated with antibiotics was investigated for persistent palpable soft tissue mass. A computed tomography scan of the neck [Figure 1] revealed a lytic lesion with adjacent sclerosis and periosteal reaction in the right mandible. In the clinical context, this finding was considered suspicious for chronic osteomyelitis. Subsequently, the patient underwent bone and gallium scintigraphy [Figure 2] to exclude osteomyelitis. Blood flow images demonstrated hyperemia in the right mandible, with corresponding increased uptake on delayed bone scan images. Gallium scintigraphy demonstrated congruent uptake. In the clinical setting, these findings were deemed suspicious for chronic osteomyelitis. Because of the unusual presentation and persistent palpable lesion, a biopsy of the right mandibular lesion was obtained. Histopathological evaluation of the sample showed B-cell proliferation suspicious for lymphoma. Ki-67 staining, a marker of cellular proliferation, showed a low proliferation rate below 10%. The cells also expressed CD10, CD20, and CD79A. These findings are compatible with a non-Hodgkin B-cell primary lymphoma of the bone (PLB). Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) [Figure 3] performed before therapy to assess disease extension was entirely normal.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}


PLB is a rare form of extranodal lymphoma that usually arises from the medullary cavity at a single bone site and affects adults older than 45 years.[1],[2] Although extremely infrequent, PLB has been described in the pediatric population.[3],[4] PLB is typically found in long bones with the diaphysis of the femur being the most frequently affected site.[5] PLB lesions are known to show increased uptake on bone scintigraphy and FDG-PET.[6]

FDG avidity is correlated with tumor proliferation marker Ki-67 in lymphoma and several other cancers.[7] On histopathological examination of the lesion, the Ki-67 index was below 10%. In this case, both the bone scintigraphy and gallium scan were positive whereas the FDG-PET scan was negative. We hypothesize that the low FDG avidity of the lesion is related to the low proliferation rate of the tumor while the gallium and bone scans were positive due to bone reaction.


In addition of showing an unusual presentation of a rare disease, this case report reinforces the importance of obtaining a baseline study in patients with lymphoma. Indeed, a baseline FDG scan before therapy allows assessment of response to treatment.[8],[9] If no baseline studies are available for comparison, the pathology reports should be reviewed to obtain additional understanding of the nature of the malignant process being investigated.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Singh T, Satheesh CT, Lakshmaiah KC, Suresh TM, Babu GK, Lokanatha D, et al. Primary bone lymphoma: A report of two cases and review of the literature. J Cancer Res Ther 2010;6:296-8.
2Jawad MU, Schneiderbauer MM, Min ES, Cheung MC, Koniaris LG, Scully SP. Primary lymphoma of bone in adult patients. Cancer 2010;116:871-9.
3Bakshi NA, Ross CW, Finn WG, Valdez R, Ruiz R, Koujok K, et al. ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma with primary bone involvement in children. Am J Clin Pathol 2006;125:57-63.
4Zhao XF, Young KH, Frank D, Goradia A, Glotzbecker MP, Pan W, et al. Pediatric primary bone lymphoma-diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: Morphologic and immunohistochemical characteristics of 10 cases. Am J Clin Pathol 2007;127:47-54.
5Heyning FH, Hogendoorn PC, Kramer MH, Hermans J, Kluin-Nelemans JC, Noordijk EM, et al. Primary non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of bone: A clinicopathological investigation of 60 cases. Leukemia 1999;13:2094-8.
6Zhou HY, Gao F, Bu B, Fu Z, Sun XJ, Huang CS, et al. Primary bone lymphoma: A case report and review of the literature. Oncol Lett 2014;8:1551-6.
7Shou Y, Lu J, Chen T, Ma D, Tong L. Correlation of fluorodeoxyglucose uptake and tumor-proliferating antigen Ki-67 in lymphomas. J Cancer Res Ther 2012;8:96-102.
8Cheson BD, Fisher RI, Barrington SF, Cavalli F, Schwartz LH, Zucca E, et al. Recommendations for initial evaluation, staging, and response assessment of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma: The Lugano classification. J Clin Oncol 2014;32:3059-68.
9Barrington SF, Mikhaeel NG, Kostakoglu L, Meignan M, Hutchings M, Müeller SP, et al. Role of imaging in the staging and response assessment of lymphoma: Consensus of the International Conference on Malignant Lymphomas Imaging Working Group. J Clin Oncol 2014;32:3048-58.