111In-pentetreotide scintigraphy is superior to 123I-MIBG scintigraphy in the diagnosis and location of chemodectoma

Nucl Med Commun. 1998 Aug;19(8):735-42. doi: 10.1097/00006231-199808000-00003.


Chemodectomas, or glomus tumours, are unusual head and neck paragangliomas. A non-invasive imaging technique, 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (123I-MIBG) scintigraphy, has long been used for the diagnosis of all types of paraganglioma. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare classic 123I-MIBG scintigraphy with the more recent 111In-pentetreotide scintigraphy in the diagnosis and location of chemodectomas. We performed 123I-MIBG and 111In-pentetreotide scintigraphy in eight patients (7 females, 1 male) with histologically or radiologically confirmed chemodectomas (five carotid body and three jugulotympanic chemodectomas). 123I-MIBG uptake was visualized in four patients on planar views and SPET images (sensitivity 50%); uptake was low in three patients. Using 111In-pentetreotide scintigraphy, all chemodectomas in eight patients were visualized (sensitivity 100%) and 111In-pentetreotide uptake was high in all cases. In conclusion, our results indicate that 111In-pentetreotide scintigraphy is superior to 123I-MIBG scintigraphy in the diagnosis and location of chemodectomas. In-pentetreotide or 123I-MIBG uptake suggests a neuroendocrine origin, providing important functional information in the diagnosis of chemodectomas. Moreover, 111In-pentetreotide scintigraphy permits a good classification of patients with or without somatostatin receptors in the chemodectoma in the application of pharmacological therapy with somatostatin analogues to inoperable tumours. The main therapeutic action of cold somatostatin analogues is to inhibit hormonal hypersecretion in different neuroendocrine tumours. In chemodectomas, however, the most important effect of somatostatin analogues is to reduce tumour volume or inhibit growth progression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use
  • Carotid Body Tumor / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Body Tumor / drug therapy
  • Ear, Middle
  • Female
  • Glomus Jugulare Tumor / diagnostic imaging
  • Glomus Jugulare Tumor / drug therapy
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Indium Radioisotopes*
  • Iodine Radioisotopes*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Octreotide / therapeutic use
  • Paraganglioma, Extra-Adrenal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Paraganglioma, Extra-Adrenal / drug therapy
  • Radiography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Somatostatin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Indium Radioisotopes
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine
  • Somatostatin
  • pentetreotide
  • Octreotide