Functional imaging evaluation in the detection, diagnosis, and histologic differentiation of pulmonary neuroendocrine tumors

Filippo Lococo, Giorgio Treglia, Alfredo Cesario, Massimiliano Paci, Angelina Filice, Annibale Versari, Pier Luigi Filosso
Thoracic Surgery Clinics 2014, 24 (3): 285-92
Pulmonary neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) have distinct pathologic characteristics. Typical carcinoids are indolent neoplasms with a good prognosis, whereas atypical carcinoids have a less indolent behavior. Both are optimally treated with complete surgical excision. More aggressive pNETs often present with local invasion, thoracic lymph nodal metastases, and distant spread. Patients may not be candidates for surgical resection and are treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. This article examines the potential role of functional imaging evaluation using (18)F FDG and somatostatin analogues labeled with (68)Ga DOTA-peptides in well-differentiated pNETs with particular attention to clinical and surgical implications.

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