11C-methionine PET/CT in 99mTc-sestamibi-negative hyperparathyroidism in patients with renal failure on chronic haemodialysis

Domenico Rubello, Stefano Fanti, Cristina Nanni, Mohsen Farsad, Paolo Castellucci, Stefano Boschi, Roberto Franchi, Giuliano Mariani, Lorraine M Fig, Milton D Gross
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2006, 33 (4): 453-9

PURPOSE: Scintigraphic localisation of parathyroid glands is often unsuccessful in patients with renal failure on chronic haemodialysis who have secondary hyperparathyroidism (HPT). The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of (11)C-methionine PET/CT to detect hyperfunctioning parathyroid glands in patients with renal failure on chronic haemodialysis who had (99m)Tc-sestamibi-negative HPT.

METHODS: (11)C-methionine PET/CT was performed in 18 patients (11 women and 7 men, aged 42-79 years; mean age 57.8 years) on haemodialysis for renal failure (2-14 years' duration), with normo-, hypo- or hypercalcaemia and HPT not localised by either dual-tracer (99m)Tc-pertechnetate/(99m)Tc-sestamibi subtraction scans or dual-phase (99m)Tc-sestamibi scans.

RESULTS: In three of ten patients with normo- or hypocalcaemic HPT there was increased (11)C-methionine accumulation in one gland. Seven of eight patients with hypercalcaemic HPT showed increased uptake: in five of these patients increased (11)C-methionine accumulation was present in one gland, while in two it was demonstrated in two glands. All patients also had high-resolution ultrasound of the neck and were treated with subtotal parathyroidectomy, leaving a remnant of the smallest of the four glands. Regardless of their size, all glands with abnormal (11)C-methionine parathyroid uptake were removed, and all demonstrated parathyroid hyperplasia. All patients developed post-parathyroidectomy hypoparathyroidism and one patient with normocalcaemic HPT relapsed 8 months after surgery.

CONCLUSION: These data suggest that (11)C-methionine PET/CT may be used to identify hyperfunctioning parathyroid glands in non-primary HPT, and especially hypercalcaemic HPT, when conventional (99m)Tc-sestamibi imaging is non-localising.

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