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

A. Azad, G. Chong, A. Tauro, Ahmad Aly, Niall C. Tebbutt

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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 chemoradiation. 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-232
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Metastatic oesophageal cancer
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • PET
  • Type 1 neurofibromatosis

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