Value of [11C]-Methionine PET/CT in Preoperative Localization of Parathyroid Adenomas
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
There are multiple imaging modalities in primary hyperparathyroidism. Ultrasound examination and subtraction scintigraphy are usually the first-line imaging techniques. When these results are negative or inconsistent, additional [11C]-methionine PET/CT (MET-PET/CT) or 4-dimensional computed tomography can be performed. This study aims to evaluate MET-PET/CT in comparison with other imaging techniques in primary hyperparathyroidism. This is a retrospective cohort study. Eighty-four patients with primary hyperparathyroidism, who underwent parathyroid surgery, were included. Imaging results have been correlated to the perioperative drop in parathyroid hormone level and to the pathological analysis. Descriptive statistics are used, supplemented with 95% Clopper-Pearson confidence intervals for sensitivity and specificity and a sub-analysis with the McNemar test on paired data only. The per-lesion sensitivity of MET-PET/CT seems higher than that of [99mTc]-sestamibi or [99mTc]-tetrofosmin and [99mTc]-pertechnetate subtraction scintigraphy. The McNemar test, on paired data only, shows significantly higher sensitivity of MET-PET/CT compared to ultrasound (p=0.039) and significantly higher specificity of ultrasound compared to subtraction scintigraphy (p=0.035). MET-PET/CT after inconclusive or negative ultrasound and/or subtraction scintigraphy has an additional value in 70% of the cases. Preoperative parathyroid hormone levels were higher in patients in whom MET-PET/CT correctly predicted the pathological parathyroid glands, compared to those where MET-PET/CT missed at least one adenoma. The same trend was seen for 4-dimensional computed tomography. In conclusion, MET-PET/CT seems a valuable imaging modality in primary hyperparathyroidism, at least as second line imaging approach, with a higher per-lesion sensitivity than ultrasound in such setting. Especially when ultrasound and/or subtraction scintigraphy are inconclusive or negative, MET-PET/CT directs the surgeon to the correct localization of the parathyroid adenoma.