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Role of positron emission tomography and bone scintigraphy in the evaluation of bone involvement in metastatic pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma: specific implications for succinate dehydrogenase enzyme subunit B gene mutations

Tomás Zelinka, Henri J L M Timmers, Anna Kozupa, Clara C Chen, Jorge A Carrasquillo, James C Reynolds, Alexander Ling, Graeme Eisenhofer, Ivica Lazúrová, Karen T Adams, Millie A Whatley, Jirí Widimsky, Karel Pacak
Endocrine-related Cancer 2008, 15 (1): 311-23
18310297
We performed a retrospective analysis of 71 subjects with metastatic pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (30 subjects with mutation of succinate dehydrogenase enzyme subunit B (SDHB) gene and 41 subjects without SDHB mutation). Sixty-nine percent presented with bone metastases (SDHB +/-: 77% vs 63%), 39% with liver metastases (SDHB +/-: 27% vs 47%), and 32% with lung metastases (SDHB +/-: 37% vs 29%). The most common sites of bone involvement were thoracic spine (80%; SDHB+/-: 83% vs 77%), lumbar spine (78%; SDHB +/-: 78% vs 75%), and pelvic and sacral bones (78%; SDHB +/-: 91% vs 65%, P=0.04). Subjects with SDHB mutation also showed significantly higher involvement of long bones (SDHB +/-: 78% vs 30%, P=0.007) than those without the mutation. The best overall sensitivity in detecting bone metastases demonstrated positron emission tomography (PET) with 6-[(18)F]-fluorodopamine ([(18)F]-FDA; 90%), followed by bone scintigraphy (82%), computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (CT/MRI; 78%), 2-[(18)F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose ([(18)F]-FDG) PET (76%), and scintigraphy with [(123/131)I]-metaiodobenzylguanidine (71%). In subjects with SDHB mutation, imaging modalities with best sensitivities for detecting bone metastases were CT/MRI (96%), bone scintigraphy (95%), and [(18)F]-FDG PET (92%). In subjects without SDHB mutations, the modality with the best sensitivity for bone metastases was [(18)F]-FDA PET (100%). In conclusion, bone scintigraphy should be used in the staging of patients with malignant pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma, particularly in patients with SDHB mutations. As for PET imaging, [(18)F]-FDG PET is highly recommended in SDHB mutation patients, whereas [(18)F]-FDA PET is recommended in patients without the mutation.

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