11C-methionine PET/CT imaging of 99mTc-MIBI-SPECT/CT-negative patients with primary hyperparathyroidism and previous neck surgery

Tatjana Traub-Weidinger, Marius E Mayerhoefer, Oskar Koperek, Markus Mitterhauser, Heying Duan, Georgios Karanikas, Bruno Niederle, Martha Hoffmann
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2014, 99 (11): 4199-205

CONTEXT: (99m)Tc-Methoxy-isobutyl-isonitrile (MIBI) scintigraphy is a standard preoperative localization imaging modality in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT). Its accuracy in localizing a hyperactive parathyroid gland after previous cervical surgery is limited. Recently, (11)C-methionine has been introduced as a promising radiotracer for pHPT imaging. Yet, few data exist for this technique in patients with persisting or recurrent pHPT before reoperation.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to investigate the ability of (11)C-methionine positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) to localize a parathyroid disorder after cervical surgery and negative postsurgical (99m)Tc-MIBI single-photon emission CT (SPECT)/CT.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Fifteen patients (6 males, 9 females; age range, 36-85 years) with pHPT and negative (99m)Tc-MIBI SPECT/CT who had undergone earlier neck surgery because of pHPT and/or thyroid disorder were recruited. Twelve of the 15 patients had thyroidectomy for goiter or differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Ten patients had previous parathyroid surgery for pHPT, and 2 patients had a history of parathyroid carcinoma. Thirteen of 15 patients showed elevated levels of intact PTH at the time of PET/CT imaging, whereas all patients had elevated serum calcium values.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Pathological results of contrast-enhanced (11)C-methionine PET/CT and surgical results were evaluated.

RESULTS: In 6 of 15 patients (11)C-methionine PET/CT showed a hypermetabolic focus in the upper mediastinum in 2 patients, in the thoracic outlet in 1 patient, and in the cervical region in 3 patients. In 9 of the 15 patients, no hyperactive parathyroid gland could be visualized. Reoperation was performed in 5 of 6 patients without surgical complications. One patient refused surgery. In 2 of the 5 patients, a transsternal procedure was performed. Correlating with the (11)C-methionine PET/CT results, a single parathyroid adenoma was found in 4 patients and parathyroid carcinoma metastasis in 1 patient.

CONCLUSION: (11)C-Methionine PET/CT is a useful complementary imaging technique to localize parathyroid adenoma or carcinoma in (99m)Tc-MIBI SPECT/CT-negative patients.

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