This study aimed to determine the prevalence of excess dopamine in relation to clinical symptoms and nuclear imaging in head and neck paraganglioma (PGL) patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
Thirty-six consecutive patients with head and neck PGLs, evaluated between 1993 and 2009, were included. Clinical symptoms, dopamine excess (urinary 3-methoxytyramine (3-MT) or dopamine and/or plasma dopamine or 3-MT) and (nor)epinephrine excess (urinary (nor)metanephrine) as well as (111)In-octreotide and (123)I-metaiodobenzylguanide (MIBG) scintigraphy were documented.
Dopamine excess was found in seven patients (19.4%), but was unrelated to clinical signs and symptoms. Excretion of other catecholamines was unremarkable, except in one patient with adrenal pheochromocytoma. (123)I-MIBG uptake (present in 36.1% of patients) was associated with dopamine excess (p = 0.03).
Dopamine excess is present in a considerable percentage of patients with head and neck PGL, and its measurement may be useful in follow-up. Measurement of other catecholamines is necessary to rule out co-existent pheochromocytoma.
Dopamine excess in patients with head and neck paragangliomas