Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma: Imaging Characteristics

Cancer Imaging. 2012 May 7;12(1):153-62. doi: 10.1102/1470-7330.2012.0016.

Abstract

The accurate diagnosis of adult pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma necessitates a multidisciplinary approach that includes clinical history, biochemical testing, and multimodality imaging such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and nuclear medicine studies. This review illustrates the different imaging characteristics of primary adult pheochromocytomas as well as both sympathetic and parasympathetic paragangliomas. The review also describes known genetic associations and shows common metastatic patterns. Knowledge of the diverse appearance of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas can result in early initial diagnosis or detection of disease recurrence thereby affecting patient management and prognosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / genetics
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / pathology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / urine
  • Contrast Media
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary / diagnosis
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary / genetics
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary / pathology
  • Paraganglioma / diagnosis*
  • Paraganglioma / diagnostic imaging
  • Paraganglioma / genetics
  • Paraganglioma / pathology
  • Pheochromocytoma / diagnosis*
  • Pheochromocytoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Pheochromocytoma / genetics
  • Pheochromocytoma / pathology
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / genetics
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed

Substances

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Contrast Media
  • Radiopharmaceuticals