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The utility of 68 Gallium-DOTATATE PET/CT in the detection of von Hippel-Lindau disease associated tumors.

PURPOSE: Patients with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease may develop various tumors, including neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas (PNETs) and adrenal, central nervous system and retinal hemangioblastomas, kidney tumors and more. 68 Ga-DOTATATE positron emission tomography (PET)/computerized tomography (CT) has been shown to be highly accurate for tumors with cells expressing somatostatin receptors. We aimed to assess the performance of 68 Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT in patients with VHL disease.

METHODS: Patients with a diagnosis of VHL were enrolled in a prospective study and underwent surveillance imaging for pancreatic lesions (n = 301). The current analysis includes 73 evaluations with multiple imaging modalities of 36 patients (2.1 ± 0.8 evaluations/patient, range 1-4) for a head-to-head comparison of 68 Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT, CT and/or MRI. In this post-hoc analysis we compared the detection rates of various imaging modalities for PNETs and for any extrapancreatic tumors located within the scan field of CT/MRI of the abdomen.

RESULTS: 68 Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT detected a total of 206 lesions, CT detected 208 lesions and MRI detected 94 lesions in 61, 66 and 33 scans, respectively. 68 Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT (3.4 ± 0.1 per scan) was superior than CT (3.2 ± 0.1 per scan, p = 0.02) with a similar trend when comparing with MRI (2.8 ± 0.1 per scan, p = 0.03) in detecting lesions in any anatomic locations.

CONCLUSIONS: 68 Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT had a significantly higher detection rate when compared with anatomic imaging for all lesions, and comparable detection rate for pancreatic lesions in VHL patients. Hence, given the higher accuracy and lower radiation exposure associated with 68 Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT, its potential role in the surveillance of VHL-associated lesions should be further studied.

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