Comparison of different positron emission tomography tracers in patients with recurrent medullary thyroid carcinoma: our experience and a review of the literature

Recent Results Cancer Res. 2013:194:385-93. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-27994-2_21.


Several morphological and functional imaging techniques are usually used to detect residual/recurrent medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) with variable results; currently, there is growing interest in positron emission tomography (PET) methodology. Herein, we report our experience of and a literature review about the comparison of different positron emission tomography (PET) tracers in patients with residual/recurrent MTC. (18)F-DOPA PET/CT seems to be the most useful imaging method to detect recurrent MTC lesions, performing better than (18)F-FDG and (68)Ga-somatostatin analogs PET/CT. (18)F-FDG may complement (18)F-DOPA in patients with aggressive tumors. (68)Ga-somatostatin analogs PET/CT may be useful to select patients who could benefit from radioreceptor therapy. The information provided by the various PET tracers reflects different metabolic pathways, and may help to select the most appropriate treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine / analogs & derivatives
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnostic imaging*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • fluorodopa F 18
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine

Supplementary concepts

  • Thyroid cancer, medullary