PloS one

Myocardial metastases on 6-[18F] fluoro-L-DOPA PET/CT: a retrospective analysis of 116 serotonin producing neuroendocrine tumour patients.

PMID 25397775


This study evaluates the prevalence of cardiac metastases in patients with serotonin producing neuroendocrine tumours (NET), examined with 18F-FDOPA PET/CT, and the relationship of these metastases to the presence of carcinoid heart disease (CHD) based on echocardiography. CHD occurs in patients with serotonin producing NET. The diagnostic method of choice remains echocardiography. The precise prevalence of cardiac metastases is unknown given the limitations of standard technologies. Nuclear medicine modalities have the potential to visualize metastases of NET. All patients who underwent 18F-FDOPA PET/CT because of serotonin producing NET between November 2009 and May 2012 were retrospectively analyzed. The presence of cardiac metastasis was defined as myocardial tracer accumulation higher than the surrounding physiological myocardial uptake. Laboratory tests and transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) results were digitally collected. 116 patients (62 male) underwent 18F-FDOPA PET/CT, mean age was 61±13 years. TTE was performed in 79 patients. Cardiac metastases were present in 15 patients, of which 10 patients also underwent TTE. One patient had both cardiac metastasis (only on 18F-FDOPA PET/CT) and echocardiographic signs of CHD. There were no differences in echocardiographic parameters for CHD between patients with and without cardiac metastases. TTE in none of the 79 patients showed cardiac metastases. The prevalence of cardiac metastases detected with 18F-FDOPA PET/CT in this study is 13%. 18F-FDOPA PET/CT can visualize cardiac metastases in serotonin producing NET patients. There appears to be no relationship between the presence of cardiac metastases and TTE parameters of CHD.