Tumors of ganglion cell origin including ganglioneuroma, neuroblastoma glioblastoma and ganglioneuroblastoma, all dopamine using cells, are appropriate for visualization using L-DOPA PET technology. These tumors accumulate decarboxylate 5′-hydroxytryptamine and L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA), and these can be used instead of FDG as the contrast agent. This modality is also being explored in neuroendocrine cancer imaging.One study revealed that for neuroendocrine tumors, 18F-FDOPA was more accurate (sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 91%) in the detection of skeletal lesions than octreotide scintigraphy or CT but was insensitive (sensitivity, 20%; specificity, 94%) in the lung, ostensibly because of respiratory motion during image acquisition. Octreotide scintigraphy yielded its best results in the liver (sensitivity, 75%; specificity, 100%); however, it was less accurate than PET in all organs. However, 18F-FDOPA PET is less sensitive than FDG PET and standard imaging procedures for the staging of small cell lung cancer It is an experimental technique at this time and not for routine clinical use.
Imaging of Advanced Neuroendocrine Tumors with 18F-FDOPA PET
Alexander Becherer, Monica Szabó, Georgios Karanikas, Patrick Wunderbaldinger, Peter Angelberger, Markus Raderer, Amir Kurtaran, Robert Dudczak, and Kurt Kletter J Nucl Med 45: 1161-1167
D. J. A. Margolis, J. M. Hoffman, R. J. Herfkens, R. B. Jeffrey, A. Quon, and S. S. Gambhir
Molecular Imaging Techniques in Body Imaging
Radiology, November 1, 2007; 245(2): 333 – 356.
Becherer A, Szabo M, Karanikas G, et al. Imaging of advanced neuroendocrine tumors with (18)F-FDOPA PET. J Nucl Med 2004;45:1161–1167.
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