The status of neuroendocrine tumor imaging: From darkness to light?

Lisa Bodei, Anders Sundin, Mark Kidd, Vikas Prasad, Irvin M. Modlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diagnostic imaging plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis, staging, treatment selection and follow-up for neuroendocrine tumors. The available diagnostic strategies are morphologic imaging, including computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound techniques, and molecular imaging, including scintigraphy with 111In-pentetreotide and positron emission tomography with 68Ga-DOTA-peptides, 18F-DOPA and 11C-5-HTP. A combination of anatomic and functional techniques is routinely performed to optimize sensitivity and specificity. The introduction of diffusion-weighted MRI and dynamic contrast-enhanced techniques represents a promising advance in radiologic imaging, whereas new receptor-binding peptides, including somatostatin agonists and antagonists, represent the recent most favorable innovation in molecular imaging. Future development includes the short-term validation of these techniques, but in extension also a more comprehensive multilevel integration of biologic information pertaining to a specific tumor and patient, possibly encompassing genomic considerations, currently evolving as a new entity denoted 'precision medicine'. The ideal is a diagnostic sequence that captures the global status of an individual's tumor and encompasses a multidimensional characterization of tumor location, metabolic performance and target identification. To date, advances in imagery have focused on increasing resolution, discrimination and functional characterization. In the future, the fusion of imagery with the parallel analysis of biological and genomic information has the potential to considerably amplify diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 6 2015


  • Computed tomography
  • Imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Scintigraphy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Medicine(all)


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