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Nucl Med Commun. 2011 Sep;32(9):764-81. doi: 10.1097/MNM.0b013e3283478a2a.

Role of positron emission tomography/computed tomography in adrenal and neuroendocrine tumors: fluorodeoxyglucose and nonfluorodeoxyglucose tracers.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine/Radiology, University of Michigan Hospital, Michigan, USA.


Positron emission tomography (PET) has seen an increasing clinical utilization in the last decade, such that it is now a standard oncology imaging modality. Its success is based on the detection of altered fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) biodistribution, reflecting glucose transport/metabolism in malignant tumor tissues. Integrated PET/computed tomography cameras combine functional and anatomical information in a synergistic manner that improves diagnostic interpretation, and newer positron-emitting radiopharmaceuticals have been developed to expand the application of non-FDG PET imaging. The increasing use of cross-sectional imaging procedures has led to a more frequent detection of incidental adrenal masses. Although conventional imaging modalities such as computed tomography and MRI can characterize the majority of these lesions, 18F-FDG PET has been reported as a useful tool to distinguish benign from malignant etiologies in indeterminate adrenal masses. Although 18F-FDG PET has enjoyed success in staging a wide range of cancers, including detection of adrenal metastases and evaluation of adrenocortical carcinoma, it has had limited impact for the evaluation of neuroendocrine tumors. Positron-emitting amine precursor and somatostatin analogs have been validated in research settings to provide accurate imaging of enterochromaffin and chromaffin neuroendocrine tumors and medullary thyroid cancer. The aim of this review article is to provide an overview of the role of 18F-FDG and newer positron-emitting radiopharmaceuticals in the evaluation of adrenal and neuroendocrine tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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