The role of high dose 67‐gallium scintigraphy in staging untreated patients with lymphoma

G. Larcos*, D. C. Farlow, V. F. Antico, S. M. Gruenewald, J. Boyages

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Gallium‐67 (67Ga) scintigraphy has been reported to be of limited value in staging lymphoma patients. However, recent technical advances in radionuclide imaging have potentially enhanced the usefulness of this method. Aims: The purposes of this study were to determine the current: (1) sensitivity and specificity and (2) impact on clinicians' treatment decisions of 67Ga scans performed at a teaching hospital. Methods: There were 46 newly presenting patients with lymphoma (13 with Hodgkin's disease (HD) and 33 with non‐Hodgkin's lymphoma [NHL]). Planar 67Ga scans were performed up to eight days following injection of 300 MBq (8 mCi) with images interpreted by consensus of two blinded observers; sensitivity and specificity were determined on a lesion by lesion basis in comparison to computed tomography (CT) scans, palpation of peripheral lymph nodes and abdominal lymphangiograms (n = 5). The contribution of 67Ga scans to clinicians' treatment decisions was also independently assessed by an experienced oncologist. Results: Gallium‐67 scan sensitivity and specificity were 80% and 96% for HD and 59% and 98% for NHL. Initial treatment plans were modified in three individuals (7%; 95% confidence intervals = 3–10%) due to lesions on the 67Ga scan not prospectively detected or considered equivocal on other tests. Conclusions: Only a small proportion of newly diagnosed lymphoma patients benefit from staging with state of the art planar high dose 67Ga imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-8
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Gallium‐67
  • lymphoma
  • radionuclide imaging


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