CONTEXT: Recommendations have not been established concerning imaging to screen SDHx mutation carriers for paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma.
OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to compare the performance of gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography, contrast-enhanced computed tomography, and [(123)I]metaiodo-benzylguanidine and somatostatin receptor scintigraphies for detecting head and neck and thoracic-abdominal-pelvic paragangliomas in SDHx mutation carriers.
DESIGN AND SETTING: We conducted a prospective, multicenter study from June 2005 to December 2009 at 23 French medical centers.
PATIENTS: A total of 238 index cases or relatives carrying mutations in SDHD, SDHB, or SDHC genes were included.
INTERVENTION: Images obtained by each technique were analyzed blind, without knowledge of results from other tests, first in each local center and then centrally.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We evaluated sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios for individual and combinations of tests, the gold standard being the consensus of an expert committee.
RESULTS: Two hundred two tumors were diagnosed in 96 subjects. At local assessment, the sensitivity of anatomical imaging for detecting all tumors was higher (85.7%) than that of both scintigraphic techniques (42.7% for [(123)I]metaiodo-benzylguanidine and 69.5% for somatostatin receptor scintigraphy), except for thoracic localizations where somatostatin receptor scintigraphy was more sensitive (61.5 vs. 46.2% for anatomical imaging and 30.8% for [(123)I]metaiodo-benzylguanidine scintigraphy). The best diagnostic performance during local assessment was obtained by combining anatomical imaging tests and somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (sensitivity 91.7%). Central assessment significantly increased the sensitivity (98.6%) of tests in combination.
CONCLUSIONS: In routine practice, the imaging work-up for screening SDHx mutation carriers should include thoraco-abdomino-pelvic computed tomography, head and neck magnetic angiography, and somatostatin receptor scintigraphy. Expert centralized image assessment is recommended.
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