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Intraindividual comparison of 123I-mIBG SPECT/MRI, 123I-mIBG SPECT/CT, and MRI for the detection of adrenal pheochromocytoma in patients with elevated urine or plasma catecholamines

Thorsten Derlin, Jasmin D Busch, Christian Wisotzki, Bjoern P Schoennagel, Peter Bannas, László Papp, Susanne Klutmann, Christian R Habermann
Clinical Nuclear Medicine 2013, 38 (1): e1-6
22996238

PURPOSE: To determine the diagnostic performance of ¹²³I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (mIBG) SPECT/MRI fusion, ¹²³I-mIBG SPECT/CT and adrenal MRI for the detection of pheochromocytoma in patients with elevated urine or plasma catecholamines.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-two consecutive patients underwent both a whole-body ¹²³I-mIBG scan with SPECT/CT of the adrenal region and MRI of the adrenal glands. Fused SPECT/MRI, SPECT/CT, and MRI scans were evaluated. Imaging results were analyzed both on a per-patient and on a per-lesion basis. Histopathology and/or clinical and radiological follow-up served as the reference standard.

RESULTS: Sixteen adrenal tumors were found in thirteen patients. On a per-lesion basis, SPECT/CT had a sensitivity of 87.5%, a specificity of 93.8%, and an overall accuracy of 92.5%. MRI had a sensitivity of 87.5%, a specificity of 96.9%, and an overall accuracy of 95.0%. On a per-patient basis, both SPECT/CT and MRI had a sensitivity of 85.7%, a specificity of 93.3%, and an overall accuracy of 90.9%. SPECT/CT was concordant with MRI in 81.8% of cases. SPECT/MRI fusion was superior to both SPECT/CT and MRI and had a sensitivity of 100% on both a per-lesion and a per-patient basis.

CONCLUSIONS: ¹²³I-mIBG SPECT/MRI has the highest sensitivity and accuracy for the detection and localization of pheochromocytomas. SPECT/CT and MRI of the adrenal glands are equivalent diagnostic procedures. However, MRI offers the advantage of fully diagnostic assessment of adrenal lesions other than pheochromocytoma undetectable by ¹²³I-mIBG.

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