18F-DOPA PET/CT in neuroblastoma: Comparison of conventional imaging with CT/MR

Egesta Lopci, Arnoldo Piccardo, Cristina Nanni, Vania Altrinetti, Alberto Garaventa, Andrea Pession, Angelina Cistaro, Arturo Chiti, Giampiero Villavecchia, Stefano Fanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Role of 18F-DOPA PET/CT in neuroblastoma (NB) compared with CT/MR. Materials and Methods: In all, 21 patients (M:F = 14:7; mean age, 7.4 years) affected by advanced stage NB (III-IV) were prospectively enrolled. Overall, 37 paired 18F-DOPA PET and CT/MR scans were performed, and for each, we identified site and number of lesions. Standard of reference was based on a multidisciplinary assessment, including I-MIBG, selective biopsy, and clinical-instrumental monitoring. Both scan-based and a lesion-based analysis was performed, and for each modality, we calculated sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value (NPV), positive predictive value (PPV), and accuracy. Results: On the scan-based analysis, 18F-DOPA PET and CT/MR showed the following rates: sensitivity, specificity, NPV, PPV, and accuracy were 100%, 92.3%, 100%, 96%, and 97.3% versus 91.7%, 61.5%, 80%, 81.5%, and 81.1%, respectively (P = 0.014). Overall 179 findings were reported at imaging, of which 139 (77.7%) resulted true sites of disease at final outcome. On the lesion-based analysis, the 2 imaging modalities showed the following sensitivity, specificity, NPV, PPV, and accuracy rates: 90.6%, 90%, 73.5%, 96.9%, and 90.5% versus 47.5%, 27.5%, 13.1%, 69.5%, and 43% (P <0.00001). Conclusions: In our study, 18F-DOPA PET/CT results more accurate than CT/MR in advanced stage NB therefore should be taken into consideration for the diagnostic workup of these patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Nuclear Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • CT
  • MR
  • neuroblastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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