6-[18f]Fluorodopamine Positron Emission Tomographic (PET) Scanning in the Diagnostic Localization of Pheochromocytoma
The diagnosis and treatment of pheochromocytoma (PHEO) depend on means to localize the tumor. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging have good sensitivity but poor specificity, and nuclear imaging has limited sensitivity. Here we report initial results of 6-[18F]Fluorodopamine PET scanning in patients with known or suspected PHEO. Of 23 patients, 13 had the tumor. Ten had normal plasma levels of metanephrines, excluding PHEO. All 13 patients with PHEO had abnormal fluorodopamine PET scans that identified the tumors. The 10 patients without PHEO had negative PET scans. Fluorodopamine PET scanning detects PHEO with high sensitivity.