Comparison of metaiodobenzylguanidine scintigraphy with positron emission tomography in the diagnostic work-up of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma: a systematic review

V Rufini, G Treglia, P Castaldi, G Perotti, A Giordano
Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2013, 57 (2): 122-33

AIM: The aim of this paper was to systematically review published data about the comparison of radiolabelled metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphy and positron emission tomography (PET) with different radiopharmaceuticals in patients with pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (Pheo/PGL).

METHODS: A comprehensive literature search of studies published in PubMed/MEDLINE and Embase databases through September 2012 and regarding MIBG scintigraphy and PET imaging with different radiopharmaceuticals in patients with Pheo/PGL was carried out.

RESULTS: Twenty-eight studies comprising 852 patients who underwent both MIBG scintigraphy and PET or PET/CT with different radiopharmaceuticals were included and discussed. Three studies evaluated carbon-11-hydroxyephedrine ([11C]HED) as PET radiopharmaceutical, nine studies fluorine-18-dopamine ([18F]DA), eight studies fluorine-18-dihydroxyphenylalanine ([18F]DOPA), twelve studies fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG) and five studies gallium-68-somatostatin analogues.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the heterogeneity of the studies included in the analysis, it can be concluded that the diagnostic performance of PET with various agents is clearly superior to that of MIBG scintigraphy in patients with Pheo/PGL, mainly for familial, extra-adrenal and metastatic diseases; however, MIBG maintains a unique role in selecting patients suitable for 131I-MBG therapy. Further larger prospective studies comparing MIBG and different PET tracers in patients with Pheo/PGL as well as a cost-effectiveness analysis of the two techniques are needed.

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