DOI: 10.1007/s00259-017-3867-1Pages: 250-261

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

1. Hans Christian Andersen Children’s Hospital, Odense University Hospital

2. University of Southern Denmark, Department of Clinical Research

3. Odense University Hospital, Department of Nuclear Medicine

4. Odense University Hospital, Department of Pathology

5. Odense University Hospital, Department of Clinical Genetics

6. Odense University Hospital, Department of Abdominal Surgery

7. Endocrine Research Centre

8. Karolinska Hospital, Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital

9. MOH of Ukraine, Ukrainian Center of Endocrine Surgery, Endocrine Organs and Tissue Transplantation

10. Odense University Hospital, Odense Pancreas Center (OPAC)

11. Odense University Hospital, Department of Paediatrics

Correspondence to:
Henrik Thybo Christesen
Tel: +45 65411266




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.


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.


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.


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.

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  • Accepted: Oct 20, 2017
  • Online: Nov 8, 2017

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