Evaluation of orbital involvement by neuroblastoma using radiolabeled metaiodobenzylguanidine

S. Lastoria, C. Caraco, S. Maurea, C. Piroli, L. Maurelli, E. Vergara, M. Klain, A. Cuocolo, M. Salvatore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuroblastoma metastases to the orbit may occur and ophthalmologic symptoms are often the onset of the disease. In a series of fifty-eight patients with neuroblastoma, we assessed the incidence of ophthalmic involvement by the tumor, and the role of labeled metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) in detecting such metastases. Seven children (12%) (3 males and 4 females, ranging in age from 13 to 60 months) had orbital involvement. All patients underwent: clinical examination, computed tomography (CT), MIBG, conventional X-ray and bone scan. In all patients the final diagnosis was made by pathology. Clinical symptoms were present in six cases: four had exophthalmos and edema, two had proptosis. CT was positive in six children (85%), bone scintigraphy in 4 patients (57%); X-ray examination in two (40%). MIBG depicted orbital metastases of neuroblastoma in all of the seven cases. Labeled MIBG accurately delineates the extent of the disease including unsuspected silent lesions, being selectively concentrated by neuroblastoma cells. This allows a precise tumor characterization sparing patients from unnecessary biopsies or surgery and indicating the most effective specific therapy to perform. In conclusion, we recommend that MIBG scintigraphy be the imaging technique of first choice to localize and characterize orbital lesions in children with known or suspected neuroblastoma. CT should be successively performed to obtain anatomic details of tumor masses detected by MIBG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalItalian Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • computed tomography
  • MIBG scintigraphy
  • ocular neuroblastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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