68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT, 99mTc-HYNIC-octreotide SPECT/CT, and whole-body MR imaging in detection of neuroendocrine tumors: a prospective trial

J Nucl Med. 2014 Oct;55(10):1598-604. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.114.144543. Epub 2014 Aug 28.


There are different metabolic imaging methods, various tracers, and emerging anatomic modalities to stage neuroendocrine tumor (NET). We aimed to compare NET lesion detectability among (99m)Tc-hydrazinonicotinamide (HYNIC)-octreotide (somatostatin receptor scintigraphy [SSRS]) SPECT/CT, (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT, and whole-body diffusion-weighted MR imaging (WB DWI).

Methods: Nineteen consecutive patients (34-77 y old; mean, 54.3 ± 10.4 y old; 10 men and 9 women) underwent SSRS SPECT/CT, (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT, and WB DWI. Images were acquired with a maximum interval of 3 mo between them and were analyzed with masking by separate teams. Planar whole-body imaging and SPECT/CT were performed from thorax to pelvis using a double-head 16-slice SPECT/CT scanner 4 h after injection of 111-185 MBq of (99m)Tc-HYNIC-octreotide. (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT was performed from head to feet using a 16-slice PET/CT scanner 45 min after injection of 185 MBq of tracer. WB DWI was performed in the coronal plane using a 1.5-T scanner and a body coil. The standard method of reference for evaluation of image performance was undertaken: consensus among investigators at the end of the study, clinical and imaging follow-up, and biopsy of suggestive lesions.

Results: McNemar testing was applied to evaluate the detectability of lesions using (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT in comparison to SSRS SPECT/CT and WB DWI: a significant difference in detectability was noted for pancreas (P = 0.0455 and P = 0.0455, respectively), gastrointestinal tract (P = 0.0455 and P = 0.0455), and bones (P = 0.0082 and P = 0.0082). Two unknown primary lesions were identified solely by (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT. (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT, SSRS SPECT/CT, and WB DWI demonstrated, respectively, sensitivities of 0.96, 0.60, and 0.72; specificities of 0.97, 0.99, and 1.00; positive predictive values of 0.94, 0.96, and 1.00; negative predictive values of 0.98, 0.83, and 0.88; and accuracies of 0.97, 0.86, and 0.91.

Conclusion: (68)Ga PET/CT seems to be more sensitive for detection of well-differentiated NET lesions, especially for bone and unknown primary lesions. NET can be staged with (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT. WB DWI is an efficient new method with high accuracy and without ionizing radiation exposure. SSRS SPECT/CT should be used only when (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT and WB DWI are not available.

Keywords: 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT; 99mTc-HYNIC-octreotide SPECT/CT; MRI; PET/CT; SPECT/CT; neuroendocrine tumor.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrazines
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / pathology*
  • Nicotinic Acids
  • Octreotide
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Technetium
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Whole Body Imaging / methods*


  • 6-hydrazinopyridine-3-carboxylic acid
  • Hydrazines
  • Nicotinic Acids
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Technetium
  • gallium Ga 68 dotatate
  • Octreotide