Richter Transformation of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: A Review of Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography and Molecular Diagnostics

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Copyright © 2017 © 2017, Shaikh et al.
Cureus. 2017 Jan;9(1) doi: 10.7759/cureus.968

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a low-grade B-cell proliferative disease with a generally indolent course. In a few cases, it undergoes transformation and becomes a more aggressive malignancy, such as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). This process, which is called Richter transformation (RT), is often detected too late and is associated with a poor prognosis. There are multiple molecular diagnostic approaches to detect RT in preexisting CLL. Metabolic imaging using 18-fluorine fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography–computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) can be a very useful tool for early detection of RT and which can hence allow for timely intervention, thereby improving the patient’s chances of survival.

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