Nuclear medicine modalities use radiolabeled ligands that either follow metabolic pathways or act on cellular receptors. Thus, they permit functional imaging of physiological processes and help to localize sites such as tumors that harbor pathological events. The application of positron emission tomography (PET) ligands to the specific pathways of synthesis, metabolism and inactivation of catecholamines found in chromaffin tumors, neuroblastomas and ganglioneuromas can be used to provide a more thorough localization of these types of tumor. Recent advances have been made in functional imaging to localize pheochromocytomas, paragangliomas, neuroblastomas and ganglioneuromas, including approaches based on PET with [(18)F]fluorodopamine, [(18)F]fluorohydroxyphenylalanine, [(11)C]epinephrine or [(11)C]hydroxyephedrine. Such functional imaging can complement computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging and other scintigraphic techniques to localize these tumors before surgical or medical therapeutic approaches are considered.