Metabolic and receptor imaging in patients with neuroendocrine tumors: comparison of fludeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography and computed tomography with indium in 111 pentetreotide

Endocr Pract. Sep-Oct 2009;15(6):521-7. doi: 10.4158/EP08318.ORR1.


Objective: To determine whether positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and indium In 111 pentetreotide, individually or collectively, predict the outcome of patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).

Methods: Between July 31, 2002, and May 4, 2007, 29 patients with previously diagnosed NETs underwent both PET/CT and indium In 111 pentetreotide imaging at our institution. The images were evaluated for the presence of abnormalities. Clinical outcomes were classified as survival without major morbidities, survival with severe complications of disease, or death. Time to outcome was measured in months from the imaging date to outcome. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were calculated in which patient outcome was compared with results on PET/CT and indium In 111 pentetreotide imaging.

Results: Of the 29 patients, 9 had abnormalities on both PET/CT and indium In 111 pentetreotide imaging. Two patients had abnormal findings on PET/CT but normal findings on pentetreotide imaging. In 5 patients, findings were normal on PET/CT but abnormal on pentetreotide imaging. In 13 patients, normal findings were noted on both PET/CT and pentetreotide imaging. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated a significant survival advantage for patients who had normal findings on PET/CT in comparison with abnormal PET/CT findings (P = .01). Patients with normal findings on indium In 111 pentetreotide imaging had a higher but insignificant survival advantage over those with abnormal results on pentetreotide imaging (P = .08).

Conclusion: For evaluation of NETs, PET/CT and indium In 111 pentetreotide are complementary. Increased metabolic activity in tumor cells is reflected by abnormalities on PET/CT. Patients who had abnormal PET/CT findings had a generally poorer prognosis and a more rapid clinical deterioration than those with normal PET/CT findings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / metabolism
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / statistics & numerical data
  • Prognosis
  • Radionuclide Imaging / methods*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals* / metabolism
  • Receptors, Somatostatin / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Somatostatin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Somatostatin / metabolism
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / statistics & numerical data
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Receptors, Somatostatin
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Somatostatin
  • pentetreotide