Background: Somatostatin receptor imaging with 111In-pentetreotide is widely accepted as an essential step in the management of patients affected by neuroendocrine tumours of the gastro-entero-pancreatic tract. Many data are already available on the high sensitivity of this technique.
Methods: We present a review of the published data together with the results of a study involving 253 patients submitted to somatostatin receptor imaging in three Italian hospitals. The patients were divided into two groups treated with different acquisition and processing protocols.
Results: The overall sensitivity was as high as (169/176) 96% in both groups, while the specificity was higher in the group in which semi-quantitative evaluation of somatostatin receptor density was performed: (23/26) 88% vs (39/51) 76%. The use of this method is recommended to increase the specificity of 111In-pentetreotide imaging.
Conclusions: Our results with somatostatin receptor imaging in neuroendocrine tumours of the gastro-entero-pancreatic tract demonstrate that all figures of merit are excellent when imaging is accurately performed and analysed by experienced operators.