Imaging of Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma

J Nucl Med. 2021 Aug 1;62(8):1033-1042. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.120.259689.


Imaging plays a critical role in the management of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas and often guides treatment. The discovery of susceptibility genes associated with these tumors has led to better understanding of clinical and imaging phenotypes. Functional imaging is of prime importance because of its sensitivity and specificity in subtypes of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. Several radiopharmaceuticals have been developed to target specific receptors and metabolic processes seen in pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas, including 131I/123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine, 6-18F-fluoro-l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, 18F-FDG, and 68Ga-DOTA-somatostatin analogs. Two of these have consequently been adapted for therapy. This educational review focuses on the current imaging approaches used in pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas, which vary among clinical and genotypic presentations.

Keywords: DOTATATE; FDG; FDOPA; MIBG; paraganglioma; pheochromocytoma; somatostatin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Paraganglioma*
  • Pheochromocytoma*
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18