Purpose: 68Ga-DOTA-DPhe1,Tyr3-octreotate (68Ga-DOTATATE) is a somatostatin analogue that shows high affinity for somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (sst2) and has been used for imaging neuroendocrine tumours. However, normal uptake patterns and potential pitfalls have not been described with this high-sensitivity radiotracer. The aim of this study was therefore to outline the normal distribution pattern of 68Ga-DOTATATE in disease-free patients, to provide standardized uptake values (SUVs) of various organs and to compare our results with the current knowledge on sst2 receptor expression in vitro.
Methods: 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/computed tomography was performed in 42 patients (15 men and 27 women). Approximately 145 MBq of tracer was injected intravenously and imaging was performed using a GE Discovery ST PET/computed tomography scanner. SUVs were calculated on the reconstructed images for various organs.
Results: 68Ga-DOTATATE uptake was noted in the sst2-expressing organs such as pituitary, thyroid, stomach wall, spleen, adrenals, kidneys, pancreas and prostate and in the liver and salivary glands, with excreted activity in the bowel and in the pelvicalyceal system of the kidneys and urinary bladder. The SUVs ranged from 0.1 to 48.8 in the organs considered. Potential pitfalls in interpreting the 68Ga-DOTATATE uptake in organs such as thyroid, pancreas lymph nodes and bowel were identified.
Conclusion: This study shows the distribution pattern of 68Ga-DOTATATE outlines the range of SUVs for various organs in disease-free patients and identifies some of the potential pitfalls encountered during imaging.