Positron emission tomography for the evaluation of pancreatic disease.
Efficient techniques for native-labeling of amino acids have been combined successfully with emission tomography to yield significant improvements in pancreatic imaging. Carbon-11-labeled tryptophan appears to be the best agent available currently for imaging the pancreas. Optimum scanning times begin 30 min after tracer administration. Positron emission tomography with 11C-tryptophan is capable of defining both morphological and functional alterations in the pancreas. Tumors as small as 2 cm in diameter can be detected, but reliable differentiation of pancreatic cancer from pancreatis may not be possible even with this improved imaging technique. Longitudinal multiplane emission tomography in single-photon mode with the Pho/Con provides an efficient and satisfactory approach to pancreatic imaging with the positron-emitting radiopharmaceuticals.
Kirchner, PT; Ryan, J; Zalutsky, M; Harper, PV
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