Comparison of 6-18F-fluoro-L-DOPA, 18F-2-deoxy-D-glucose, CT, and MRI in patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms with von Hippel-Lindau disease

Surgery. 2011 Dec;150(6):1122-8. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2011.09.048.


Introduction: There are limited data on the utility of 6-(18)F-fluoro-l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine ((18)F-DOPA) and (18)F-2-deoxy-d-glucose ((18)F-FDG) in the workup of patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs). The aim of our study was to determine the accuracy of (18)F-DOPA and (18)F-FDG to detect PNETs in patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease (vHL).

Methods: We studied prospectively 69 patients with a diagnosis of vHL and pancreatic lesion(s) using computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), (18)F-FDG, and (18)F-DOPA. Clinical, genetic, and laboratory characteristics were analyzed to determine association with imaging study results.

Results: In sum, 40 patients underwent evaluation by all 4 modalities; 98 PNETs and 55 PNETs were identified on CT and MRI, respectively. Only 11 of the 98 lesions (11%) were positive on (18)F-DOPA and 45 of the 98 (46%) lesions were positive on (18)F-FDG. There were 13 (18)F-DOPA and 26 (18)F-FDG avid extrapancreatic lesions. One patient underwent resection of an (18)F-DOPA avid extrapancreatic lesion in the lung, with pathology demonstrating a NET. There was no association between (18)F-DOPA and (18)F-FDG avidity and tumor size, age, gender, vHL mutation, or serum chromogranin A level.

Conclusion: (18)F-FDG and MRI may be adjuncts to CT in identifying PNETs and metastatic disease. (18)F-DOPA has limited value in identifying PNETs in patients with vHL, but may be useful for identifying extrapancreatic NET lesions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dopamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / complications
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / diagnosis*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / complications
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Young Adult
  • von Hippel-Lindau Disease / complications*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • 6-fluorodopamine
  • Dopamine