Feasibility of carbidopa premedication in pediatric patients: A pilot study

Egesta Lopci, Daniela D'Ambrosio, Cristina Nanni, Arturo Chiti, Andrea Pession, Mario Marengo, Stefano Fanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To verify the potential role and feasibility of carbidopa premedication in pediatric patients undergoing 18F-DOPA (Fluorine-18 fluorodihydroxyphenylalanine) PET scanning. Materials and Methods: For this limited study, 5 patients (M:F=3:2; mean age 4.8 years) with a positive history for neuroblastoma who had been referred to our institution for instrumental monitoring during clinical follow-up were enrolled. In all cases, two consecutive 18F-DOPA PET scans, the first without carbidopa and the second with carbidopa premedication, were scheduled: patients received 4 MBq/kg of radiotracer and a dose of 2 mg/kg of carbidopa. Dedicated VOIs were drawn on the basal ganglia, pancreas, liver, and renal cortex. These regions were semiquantitatively analyzed at both the first and at the second 18F-DOPA scan, and mean SUVmax values were compared using the t-test. Results: On a visual basis, a clear reduction in the abdominal accumulation of 18F-DOPA was observed in all cases after carbidopa premedication. This reduction related both to the biliary structures and the excretory system, and was accompanied by a generalized increase in soft tissue uptake. The semiquantitative analysis documented an absolute increase in SUVmax after carbidopa premedication in the basal ganglia (3.4±1.3 vs. 2.1±0.8) and liver parenchyma (2.2±0.5 vs. 1.5±0.5), whereas SUVmax decreased in the renal cortex (1.7±0.8 vs. 3.7±1.0) and the pancreas (2.3±0.6 vs. 3.5±0.5). The changes in SUVmax were statistically significant for the pancreas and liver parenchyma (p=0.022 and 0.045, respectively), but not for the basal ganglia and renal cortex (p=0.143 and 0.15, respectively). Conclusions: Carbidopa premedication in the pediatric population appears feasible and seems to influence 18F-DOPA distribution in the liver and pancreas in a manner similar to that reported in adults. Larger series are however needed to properly define the clinical role of carbidopa premedication in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-733
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2012


  • F-DOPA
  • carbidopa
  • neuroblastoma
  • pediatric
  • PET/CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pharmacology

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