Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy in thoracic diseases

P Ameri, F Gatto, M Arvigo, G Villa, E Resmini, F Minuto, G Murialdo, D Ferone
Journal of Endocrinological Investigation 2007, 30 (10): 889-902
Somatostatin (SS) receptor scintigraphy is useful for the diagnosis of lesions with high density of SS receptors, and above all neuroendocrine tumors. For several years, only indium-labeled octreotide has been applied to visualise in vivo tissues with SS receptor overexpression. Radiolabeled octreotide became the gold standard for the detection of neuroendocrine tumors. More recently, however, several new SS analogues with varying affinity for SS receptor subtypes have been developed, and different radionuclides as radiolabels have been introduced. Moreover, significant improvements have been made by the introduction of hybrid machines, such as single photon emission computed tomography/ computed tomography (SPECT/CT) or positron emission tomography (PET)/CT that enable to perform whole-body imaging quickly and with high anatomical resolution in several body areas, including the chest. The development of more specific radiopharmaceuticals, together with the modern technique of imaging, may provide excellent quality images with high contrast, allowing to depict very small lesions and making them easy to interpret. Indeed, in the management of SS receptor-positive lesions, the contribution of nuclear medicine is essential in several clinical settings, such as initial diagnosis, disease staging, follow-up, treatment planning, and treatment monitoring. In addition, the tracer uptake might be used as a prognostic parameter and as a predictor of treatment response. In the chest, apart in (neuro)endocrine tumors, SS receptors have been demonstrated in granulomatous diseases, like sarcoidosis and other immune-mediated disorders, such as anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)-associated vasculitis. In this paper we review and discuss the role of SS receptor scintigraphy in diagnosis, staging or follow- up of thoracic SS receptor-positive lesions.

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