Clinical value of a combined multi-phase contrast enhanced DOPA-PET/CT in neuroendocrine tumours with emphasis on the diagnostic CT component

Veit-Haibach, Patrick ; Schiesser, Marc ; Soyka, Jan ; Strobel, Klaus ; Schaefer, Niklaus ; Hesselmann, Rolf ; Clavien, P.-A ; Hany, Thomas

In: European Radiology, 2011, vol. 21, no. 2, p. 256-264

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    Objective: To assess the clinical value of multi-phase, contrast-enhanced DOPA-PET/CT with emphasis on the diagnostic CT component in patients with neuroendocrine tumours (NET). Methods: Sixty-five patients with NET underwent DOPA-cePET/CT. The DOPA-PET, multi-phase CT and combined DOPA cePET/CT data were evaluated and diagnostic accuracies compared. The value of ceCT in DOPA cePET/CT concerning lesion detection and therapeutic impact was evaluated. Sensitivities, specificities and accuracies were calculated. Histopathology and clinical follow-up served as the standard of reference. Differences were tested for statistical significance by McNemar's test. Results: In 40 patients metastatic and/or primary tumour lesions were detected. Lesion-based analysis for the DOPA-PET showed sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 66%, 100% and 67%, for the ceCT data 85%, 71% and 85%, and for the combined DOPA cePET/CT data 97%, 71% and 96%. DOPA cePET/CT was significantly more accurate compared with dual-phase CT (p < 0.05) and PET alone (p < 0.05). Additional lesion detection was based on ceCT in 12 patients; three patients underwent significant therapeutic changes based on the ceCT findings. Conclusion: DOPA cePET/CT was significantly more accurate than DOPA-PET alone and ceCT alone. The CT component itself had a diagnostic impact in a small percentage but contributed to the therapeutic strategies in selected patients