Prognostic value of semiquantification NP-59 SPECT/CT in primary aldosteronism patients after adrenalectomy

  • Ching-Chu Lu
  • Vin-Cent Wu
  • Kwan-Dun Wu
  • Kao-Lang Liu
  • Wei-Chou Lin
  • Mei-Fang Cheng
  • Kai-Yuan Tzen
  • Ruoh-Fang YenEmail author
  • the TAIPAI Study Group
Original Article



Primary aldosteronism (PA), characterized by an excessive production of aldosterone, affects 5−13 % of patients with hypertension. Accurate strategies are needed for the timely diagnosis of PA to allow curability and prevention of excessive cardiovascular events and related damage. This study aimed to evaluate the usefulness of semiquantification of 131I-6β-iodomethyl-norcholesterol (NP-59) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/CT in differentiating aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) from idiopathic adrenal hyperplasia (IAH) and in predicting clinical outcomes after adrenalectomy.


We retrospectively reviewed 49 PA patients who had undergone adrenalectomy after NP-59 SPECT/CT within 1 year. A conventional visual scale (VS) and two semiquantitative parameters generated from SPECT/CT, adrenal to liver ratio (ALR) and lesion to contralateral ratio of bilateral adrenal glands (CON), with cutoff values calculated by receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, were compared with pathology results and postsurgical outcomes to determine the accuracy.


An ALR cutoff of 1.84 and a CON cutoff of 1.15 showed an ability to distinguish adenoma from hyperplasia similar to VS (p = 0.2592 and 0.1908, respectively). An ALR cutoff of 2.28 and a CON cutoff of 1.11 yielded the highest sensitivity and specificity to predict postsurgical outcomes, and an ALR of 2.28 had an ability superior to VS (p = 0.0215), while a CON of 1.11 did not (p = 0.1015). Patients with either ALR or CON greater than the cutoff had a high probability of positive postsurgical outcomes (n = 36/38), while patients with both ALR and CON less than the cutoff had a low probability of positive postsurgical outcomes (n = 2/11).


Semiquantification of NP-59 scintigraphy has an ability similar to VS in differentiating APA from IAH, but an excellent ability to predict postsurgical outcomes of adrenalectomy. An ALR or CON greater than the cutoff strongly suggests benefits from adrenalectomy, and both ALR and CON less than the cutoff implies a reduced chance of improvement in postsurgical outcome.


NP-59 Semiquantification Primary aldosteronism Outcome Adrenalectomy 



The work was supported in part by grant NTUH.100-S1493 from National Taiwan University Hospital. We also acknowledge statistical assistance provided by the National Translational Medicine and Clinical Trial Resource Center, which is funded by the National Research Program for Biopharmaceuticals (NRPB) at the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC101-2325-B-002-078) and the Department of Medical Research in National Taiwan University Hospital.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ching-Chu Lu
    • 1
  • Vin-Cent Wu
    • 2
  • Kwan-Dun Wu
    • 2
  • Kao-Lang Liu
    • 3
  • Wei-Chou Lin
    • 4
  • Mei-Fang Cheng
    • 1
  • Kai-Yuan Tzen
    • 1
  • Ruoh-Fang Yen
    • 1
    Email author
  • the TAIPAI Study Group
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineNational Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, TaiwanTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineNational Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of MedicineTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Medical ImagingNational Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of MedicineTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of PathologyNational Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of MedicineTaipeiTaiwan

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