: In pediatric Hodgkin’s lymphoma (pHL) early response-to-therapy prediction is metabolically assessed by (18)F-FDG PET carrying an excellent negative predictive value (NPV) but an impaired positive predictive value (PPV). Aim of this study was to improve the PPV while keeping the optimal NPV. A comparison of different PET data analyses was performed applying individualized standardized uptake values (SUV), PET-derived metabolic tumor volume (MTV) and the product of both parameters, termed total lesion glycolysis (TLG); Methods
: One-hundred-eight PET datasets (PET1, n
= 54; PET2, n
= 54) of 54 children were analysed by visual and semi-quantitative means. SUVmax, SUVmean, MTV and TLG were obtained the results of both PETs and the relative change from PET1 to PET2 (Δ in %) were compared for their capability of identifying responders and non-responders using receiver operating characteristics (ROC)-curves. In consideration of individual variations in noise and contrasts levels all parameters were additionally obtained after threshold correction to lean body mass and background; Results
: All semi-quantitative SUV estimates obtained at PET2 were significantly superior to the visual PET2 analysis. However, ΔSUVmax revealed the best results (area under the curve, 0.92; p
< 0.001; sensitivity 100%; specificity 85.4%; PPV 46.2%; NPV 100%; accuracy, 87.0%) but was not significantly superior to SUVmax-estimation at PET2 and ΔTLGmax. Likewise, the lean body mass and background individualization of the datasets did not impove the results of the ROC analyses; Conclusions
: Sophisticated semi-quantitative PET measures in early response assessment of pHL patients do not perform significantly better than the previously proposed ΔSUVmax. All analytical strategies failed to improve the impaired PPV to a clinically acceptable level while preserving the excellent NPV.