18F-FDOPA (6-[18F]-L-fluoro-L-3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine)-based PET/CT imaging can be a useful tool for the detection of different neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). 18F-FDOPA is taken up into the cells via the neutral amino acid transporter (LAT1/4F2hc). This transporter is also coupled to the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway. 18F-FDOPA PET/CT may be performed for confirmation of diagnosis of pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma, staging at initial presentation, restaging and follow-up of patients. In SDHx-related syndromes, 18F-FDG PET/CT should be performed in addition to 18F-FDOPA PET/CT. 18F-FDOPA PET/CT is also invaluable in the detection staging/restaging of carcinoid tumours and has greater sensitivity as compared to somatostatin receptor scintigraphy. 18F-FDOPA PET/CT can also distinguish between focal vs diffuse CHI. It is not as useful in adult hyperinsulinism due to increased background uptake, but the problem may be overcome with the help of premedication with carbidopa. It has limited use in pancreatic NETs. 18F-FDOPA PET/CT is a good modality for detection of persistent and residual medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), but 18F-FDG PET/CT may be needed in aggressive tumours. In summary, F-DOPA PET/CT has widespread utility in the diagnosis of different neuroendocrine tumours.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism