We performed this study in order to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of whole-body fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) imaging and somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS) for localizing primary carcinoid tumours and evaluating the extent of the disease. A secondary aim was to correlate those findings with the histological characteristics of the lesions. FDG PET was performed in 17 patients and SRS in 16. All patients had pathologically proven carcinoids. All lesions were verified by histopathological analysis or by follow-up. Ki-67 and p53 expression were assessed as an indicator of the tumours' aggressiveness. FDG PET correctly identified 4/7 primary tumours and 8/11 metastatic spreads, as compared to six and 10 respectively, for SRS. Most tumours were typical carcinoids with low Ki-67 expression. No correlation was found between the histological features and the tracer's uptake. We conclude that SRS remains the modality of choice for evaluating patients with carcinoid tumours, regardless of their proliferative activity. FDG PET should be reserved to patients with negative results on SRS.