• Potential long-term complications of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the pediatric patient with Hodgkin's disease necessitate accurate staging. To determine the accuracy of abdominal computed tomography (CT) and gallium citrate Ga 67 scans in staging Hodgkin's disease, we reviewed the charts of all children with Hodgkin's disease seen at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles from 1975 to 1985. Patients with pathologically proved stage IV disease (ie, bone marrow involvement) and those who only underwent staging laparotomy were excluded. A total of 40 children underwent staging by laparotomy and staging by abdominal CT and/or 67Ga scan. The CT and 67Ga scans were reviewed by radiologists in a blinded manner and compared with the results of a formal staging laparotomy. Of the 38 patients whose disease was staged with 67Ga scan, disease in ten was understaged and in four overstaged, for a 37% incorrect staging rate. Of the 14 patients whose disease was staged by CT scan, disease in three was understaged and in one overstaged, for a 29% incorrect staging rate. In view of the inaccuracy of noninvasive studies and the impact of incorrect staging on treatment, we recommend that a staging laparotomy be performed in all children with Hodgkin's disease who are not proved to have stage IV disease.
(Arch Surg 1986;121:1125-1127)