Role of iodine-131 MIBG scanning in the management of paediatric patients with neuroblastoma

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type



3-Iodobenzylguanidine; Child; Child, Preschool; Female; Humans; Infant; Iodine Radioisotopes; Male; Neural Crest; Neuroblastoma; Radiopharmaceuticals; Tomography, X-Ray Computed


Hematology | Oncology | Pediatrics


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the role of iodine-131 metoiodobenzylguanidine (iodine-131 MIBG) scanning in the management of paediatric patients with neuroblastoma.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Forty-three iodine-131 MIBG scans were performed on 26 children, 18 male and 8 female, ranging in age from 8 months to 11 years. Bone scan, computed tomography (CT) images and findings of bone marrow biopsy were compared with the iodine-131 MIBG scan findings. RESULTS: Of the 26 patients, 18 (69%) showed abnormal iodine-131 MIBG avidity and were proven to have a neural crest tumour on histology. The remaining 8 (31%) patients had normal iodine-131 MIBG scans, and histology showed a malignancy other than a neural crest tumour. Iodine-131 MIBG scans showed the primary site in 16 of 17 patients while CT showed 14 primary sites. In follow-up studies, the results were as follows: iodine-131 MIBG showed no evidence of disease in 4 compared with 3 on CT, persistent disease in 2 on iodine-131 MIBG and 4 on CT; recurrence in 1 on iodine-131 MIBG and 0 on CT; MIBG scans detected double the number of bony lesions compared with bone scans. The findings on iodine-131 MIBG scans and bone marrow biopsy were in agreement in 16/18 cases. Patients in whom iodine-131 MIBG scans showed disease resolution had better clinical outcomes.

CONCLUSION: The findings indicate that iodine-131 MIBG scanning is useful for the diagnosis, staging, evaluation of response to therapy and detection of recurrences in patients with neuroblastoma. It exhibited a clear advantage over CT in detecting the primary site and soft issue metastases and was also superior to bone scanning in detecting skeletal metastases. It also reliably demonstrated bone marrow involvement.

DOI of Published Version



Med Princ Pract. 2004 Jul-Aug;13(4):196-200. doi 10.1159/000078315

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medical principles and practice : international journal of the Kuwait University, Health Science Centre

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