Comparison of 18F-fluoro-L-DOPA, 18F-fluoro-deoxyglucose, and 18F-fluorodopamine PET and 123I-MIBG scintigraphy in the localization of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma

H.J. Timmers*, C.C. Chen, J.A. Carrasquillo, M. Whatley, A. Ling, B. Havekes, G. Eisenhofer, L. Martiniova, K.T. Adams, K. Pacak

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    CONTEXT: Besides (123)I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG), positron emission tomography (PET) agents are available for the localization of paraganglioma (PGL), including (18)F-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), (18)F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose ((18)F-FDG), and (18)F-fluorodopamine ((18)F-FDA). OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to establish the optimal approach to the functional imaging of PGL and examine the link between genotype-specific tumor biology and imaging. DESIGN: This was a prospective observational study. INTERVENTION: There were no interventions. PATIENTS: Fifty-two patients (28 males, 24 females, aged 46.8 +/- 14.2 yr): 20 with nonmetastatic PGL (11 adrenal), 28 with metastatic PGL (13 adrenal), and four in whom PGL was ruled out; 22 PGLs were of the succinate dehydrogenase subunit B (SDHB) genotype. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Sensitivity of (18)F-DOPA, (18)F-FDG, and (18)F-FDA PET, (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the localization of PGL were measured. RESULTS: Sensitivities for localizing nonmetastatic PGL were 100% for CT and/or MRI, 81% for (18)F-DOPA PET, 88% for (18)F-FDG PET/CT, 78% for (18)F-FDA PET/CT, and 78% for (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy. For metastatic PGL, sensitivity in reference to CT/MRI was 45% for (18)F-DOPA PET, 74% for (18)F-FDG PET/CT, 76% for (18)F-FDA PET/CT, and 57% for (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy. In patients with SDHB metastatic PGL, (18)F-FDA and (18)F-FDG have a higher sensitivity (82 and 83%) than (123)I-MIBG (57%) and (18)F-DOPA (20%). CONCLUSIONS: (18)F-FDA PET/CT is the preferred technique for the localization of the primary PGL and to rule out metastases. Second best, equal alternatives are (18)F-DOPA PET and (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy. For patients with known metastatic PGL, we recommend (18)F-FDA PET in patients with an unknown genotype, (18)F-FDG or (18)F-FDA PET in SDHB mutation carriers, and (18)F-DOPA or (18)F-FDA PET in non-SDHB patients.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4757-4767
    JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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