Fluorine-18-fluorodihydroxyphenylalanine Positron-emission Tomography Scans of Neuroendocrine Tumors (Carcinoids and Pheochromocytomas)

Italo Zanzi, Yana Studentsova, David Bjelke, Richard Warner, Barry Babchyck, Thomas Chaly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: Conventional methods of imaging neuroendocrine tumors with computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, indium-111-octreotide, or radiolabeled metaiodobenzilguanidine scintigraphy have limitations. This pilot study tried to improve the localization of these tumors with fluorine-18-fluorodihydroxyphenylalanine (F-DOPA) positron-emission tomography (PET) scanning. Materials and Methods: We studied 22 patients, the majority of whom were referred with clinical diagnosis or suspicion of carcinoid (n = 11), neuroendocrine tumors (n = 7) or pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (PGL) (n = 4). The comparison was made with the prior conventional imaging. Results: The F-DOPA findings were compared with the results of subsequent surgery (2), endoscopy (1), or a long-term follow-up (mean duration, 49 months) for 17 patients. Two patients were lost to follow-up. Foci of F-DOPA deposition were detected in eight patients (final diagnosis of carcinoid in six, of neuroendocrine tumors in one, and of PGL in another). Comparison with the final diagnoses revealed concordance in 16 of the 22 patients. F-DOPA results appeared superior to those obtained with conventional imaging. Despite the small number and diagnostic heterogeneity, in a substantial fraction of patients F-DOPA PET added information relevant to clinical management. Conclusion: F-DOPA scanning added prognostic value, particularly when multiple abnormal foci versus a negative examination were considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalJournal of Clinical Imaging Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Carcinoid
  • fluorodihydroxyphenylalanine positron-emission tomography
  • neuroendocrine tumor
  • pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluorine-18-fluorodihydroxyphenylalanine Positron-emission Tomography Scans of Neuroendocrine Tumors (Carcinoids and Pheochromocytomas)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this