Introduction: Ga-68 DOTATATE (Ga-octreotate, GaTate) positron emission tomography (PET)/CT has multiple advantages compared with conventional and In-111 octreotide imaging for neuroendocrine tumours and other somatostatin-receptor expressing tumours. This study assesses the management impact of incremental diagnostic information obtained from this technique compared with conventional staging.
Methods: Fifty-nine GaTate PET/CT studies were performed over an 18-month period (52 proven or suspected gastro-entero-pancreatic or bronchial neuroendocrine tumours and seven neural crest/mesenchymal tumours). A retrospective blinded review was performed on the number of abnormalities (1, 2-5 or >5) within defined regions with comparison to conventional imaging to assess incremental diagnostic information. Subsequent management impact (high, moderate or low) was determined by clinical review and follow up to assess pre-PET stage, treatment intent and post-PET management change.
Results: Eighty-eight percent of GaTate studies were abnormal. Compared with conventional and In-111 octreotide imaging, additional information was provided by GaTate PET/CT in 68 and 83% of patients, respectively. Management impact was high (inter-modality change) in 47%, moderate (intra-modality change) in 10% and low in 41% (not assessable in 2%). High management impact included directing patients to curative surgery by identifying a primary site and directing patients with multiple metastases to systemic therapy.
Conclusion: GaTate PET/CT imaging provides additional diagnostic information in a high proportion of patients with consequent high management impact. GaTate PET/CT could replace (1)In-111 octreotide scintigraphy at centres where it is available given its superior accuracy, faster acquisition and lower radiation exposure. Rapid implementation could be achieved by allowing substitutional funding in the Medicare Benefit Schedule.
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology © 2012 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.