OBJECTIVE: Conventional follow-up of surgically and radiotherapy-treated paragangliomas is usually carried out with physical examinations and either magnetic resonance imaging and/or computed tomography. Up to now, octreotide has been reserved for primary diagnosis, for which it has been shown to be a reliable imaging modality. However, the postsurgical and postradiation changes seen on conventional imaging make the diagnosis of small recurrent lesions difficult. We sought to evaluate the role of octreotide scintigraphy in the detection of recurrent paragangliomas. STUDY DESIGN: We based this case series on 3 patients who were found to have recurrent paragangliomas after primary surgical resection. All patients underwent octreotide scintigraphy during routine follow-up. RESULTS: Three patients were found to have recurrent paragangliomas using octreotide scintigraphy. In one of the patients, conventional imaging (magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography) failed to detect the recurrence. CONCLUSION: The octreotide study was able to detect the small recurrences because octreotide binds directly to receptors on the tumor and is not affected by postsurgical or postradiotherapy changes. The intrinsic resolution of most commercially available gamma cameras is about 1 cm, making it quite sensitive to detect small tumors. Although this patient did not have synchronous lesions, octreotide scintigraphy can also aide in the detection of such lesions.
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