18F-DOPA PET/CT and 68Ga-DOTANOC PET/CT scans as diagnostic tools in focal congenital hyperinsulinism: a blinded evaluation

Charlotte Dahl Christiansen, Henrik Petersen, Anne Lerberg Nielsen, Sönke Detlefsen, Klaus Brusgaard, Lars Rasmussen, Maria Melikyan, Klas Ekström, Evgenia Globa, Annett Helleskov Rasmussen, Claus Hovendal, Henrik Thybo Christesen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Purpose: Focal congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) is curable by surgery, which is why identification of the focal lesion is crucial. We aimed to determine the use of 18F–fluoro-dihydroxyphenylalanine (18F-DOPA) PET/CT vs. 68Ga-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic-acid-1-Nal3-octreotide (68Ga-DOTANOC) PET/CT as diagnostic tools in focal CHI. Methods: PET/CT scans of children with CHI admitted to Odense University Hospital between August 2005 and June 2016 were retrospectively evaluated visually and by their maximal standardized uptake values (SUVmax) by two independent examiners, blinded for clinical, surgical and pathological data. Pancreatic histology was used as the gold standard. For patients without surgery, the genetic profile served as the gold standard. Results: Fifty-five CHI patients were examined by PET/CT (18F-DOPA n = 53, 68Ga-DOTANOC n = 18). Surgery was performed in 34 patients, no surgery in 21 patients. Fifty-one patients had a classifiable outcome, either by histology (n = 33, 22 focal lesions, 11 non-focal) or by genetics (n = 18, all non-focal). The predictive performance of 18F-DOPA PET/CT to identify focal CHI was identical by visual- and cut-off-based evaluation: sensitivity (95% CI) of 1 (0.85–1); specificity of 0.96 (0.82–0.99). The optimal 18F-DOPA PET SUVmax ratio cut-off was 1.44 and the optimal 68Ga-DOTANOC PET SUVmax cut-off was 6.77 g/ml. The area under the receiver operating curve was 0.98 (0.93–1) for 18F-DOPA PET vs. 0.71 (0.43–0.95) for 68Ga-DOTANOC PET (p < 0.03). In patients subjected to surgery, localization of the focal lesion was correct in 91%, and 100%, by 18F-DOPA PET/CT and 68Ga-DOTANOC PET/CT, respectively. Conclusion: 18F-DOPA PET/CT was excellent in predicting focal CHI and superior compared to 68Ga-DOTANOC PET/CT. Further use of 68GA-DOTANOC PET/CT in predicting focal CHI is discouraged.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)250-261
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Congenital Hyperinsulinism/diagnostic imaging
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine/analogs & derivatives
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
  • Retrospective Studies


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