Author:  Gesche Tallen, MD, PhD, Editor:  Maria Yiallouros, Reviewer:  Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. G. Henze, English Translation:  Hannah McRae, Last modification: 2015/01/13 https://kinderkrebsinfo.de/doi/e98570

The 123I-mIBG Scintigraphy is a nuclear medical imaging procedure which is used in the diagnosis of tumours of the sympathetic nervous system. These include cancers in children and adolescents such as pheochromocytoma and neuroblastoma (please see diseases).

Tumours of the sympathetic nervous system can produce specific hormones: the catecholamines. The substance “meta-iodobenzylguanidine” (abbreviated mIBG), that is used in this imaging procedure has a chemical structure similar to catecholamines. It therefore accumulates in tumours that produce catecholamines.

Because the mIBG is carried by radioactive iodine (the isotope I123), the tumour cells send out a radioactive signal when they get in contact with I123- mIBG. This signal is then processed by a special camera and converted into a digital image.

Nuclear medical techniques using mIBG are also used in the treatment of neuroblastoma (please see neuroblastoma).

The results of an mIBG-scan are usually interpreted by a paediatric radiologist. An mIBG-scan is usually only performed on children or teenagers (under 18 years of age) after an informed consent has been obtained by the parent or legal guardian.