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Minerva Endocrinologica 2009 June;34(2):171-84

language: English

Scintigraphic localization of adrenal tumors

Gross M. D. 1, Djekidel M. 1, Hay R. V. 2, Rubello D. 3

1 Nuclear Medicine Service Department of Veterans Affairs Health System Division of Nuclear Medicine Department of Radiology University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, MI, USA
2 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Grand Valley State University Grand Rapids, MI, USA
3 Department of Nuclear Medicine PET Centre, Medical Physics and Radiology Santa Maria della Misericordia Rovigo Hospital
Rovigo, Italy


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Scintigraphy has historically added much to the evaluation of adrenal dysfunction and tumor localization. The early development of radiopharmaceuticals for adrenocortical imaging provided vital clinical information well before the widespread availability of computed tomography (CT), but beginning in the early 1980’s nuclear imaging became supplanted in large part by high resolution CT and more recently by magnetic resonance imaging. The parallel emergence of radiopharmaceuticals for adrenomedullary imaging also provided important functional insight in evaluating these neoplasms, but despite the clinical value of such nuclear probes they too, were relegated to a less prominent role in tumor characterization because of advances in anatomic imaging. However, with the recent introduction of dual-modality imaging platforms that directly combine CT with scintigraphy, either as single photon emission tomography (SPECT)/CT or positron emission tomography (PET)/CT, nuclear medicine studies once again play an integral role in adrenal tumor evaluation.

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