Medical Oncology

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 230–232 | Cite as

18F-FDG-PET imaging of a benign neurofibroma masquerading as metastatic oesophageal carcinoma

  • A. AzadEmail author
  • G. Chong
  • A. Tauro
  • A. Aly
  • N. C. Tebbutt
Original Paper


We present the case of a 65-year-old male with squamous cell carcinoma of the thoracic oesophagus on a background of neurofibromatosis type 1. On computed tomography, he was noted to have a large left-sided superior mediastinal mass. Initially, this mass was thought to be metastatic lymphadenopathy; however, it did not display fluorodeoxyglucose uptake on positron emission tomography. Subsequent biopsy confirmed the mass to be a neurofibroma and the patient commenced definitive chemo-radiation. Positron emission tomography had a major impact on management since the presumed lymph node disease was not included in the radiation field. In addition, positron emission tomography altered prognostic stratification since lymph node involvement is a poor prognostic factor in oesophageal cancer. We could only identify one other case in the English literature in which positron emission tomography was used to distinguish metastatic carcinoma from a neurofibroma, although there are a number of reports that describe the utility of positron emission tomography in differentiating benign neurofibromas from malignant connective tissue tumours.


Type 1 neurofibromatosis Neurofibromatosis PET Oesophageal cancer Metastatic oesophageal cancer 



We would like to thank Dr Aurora Poon for assisting in the preparation of the figures, and Professor Andrew Scott for editing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Azad
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • G. Chong
    • 1
  • A. Tauro
    • 2
  • A. Aly
    • 3
  • N. C. Tebbutt
    • 1
  1. 1.Ludwig Institute Oncology UnitUniversity of Melbourne, Austin Hospital, Austin HealthMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Positron Emission TomographyUniversity of Melbourne, Austin Hospital, Austin HealthMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Melbourne, Austin Hospital, Austin HealthMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.HeidelbergAustralia

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