18F-FDOPA PET Compared With 123I-Metaiodobenzylguanidine Scintigraphy and 18F-FDG PET in Secreting Sporadic Pheochromocytoma

Clin Nucl Med. 2019 Sep;44(9):738-740. doi: 10.1097/RLU.0000000000002736.


We report the case of a 23-year-old man presenting a right hypersecreting pheochromocytoma, falsely negative on F-FDG PET/CT and on I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (I-MIBG) scintigraphy but strongly positive on F-FDOPA PET/CT. Functional imaging has a key role in diagnosis and prognosis of pheochromocytomas, but choosing the most relevant modality remains difficult. Despite its high specificity, I-MIBG has a limited sensitivity. F-FDG can be used, but it is an unspecific tracer, and F-FDG uptake in brown adipose tissue can hinder the analysis. However, F-FDOPA shows very high sensitivity and specificity in pheochromocytomas with fewer drug interferences than I-MIBG.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pheochromocytoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • fluorodopa F 18
  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine