Clinical Applications of Somatostatin Receptor (Agonist) PET Tracers beyond Neuroendocrine Tumors

Diagnostics (Basel). 2022 Feb 18;12(2):528. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics12020528.


Somatostatin receptor (SSTR) agonist tracers used in nuclear medicine scans are classically used for neuroendocrine tumor diagnosis and staging. SSTR are however, expressed more widely in a variety of cells as seen in the distribution of physiological tracer uptake during whole body scans. This provides opportunities for using these tracers for applications other than NETs and meningiomas. In this qualitative systematic review, novel diagnostics in SSTR-PET imaging are reviewed. A total of 70 studies comprised of 543 patients were qualitatively reviewed. Sarcoidosis, atherosclerosis and phosphaturic mesenchymal tumors represent the most studied applications currently with promising results. Other applications remain in progress where there are many case reports but a relative dearth of cohort studies. [18F]FDG PET provides the main comparative method in many cases but represents a well-established general PET technique that may be difficult to replace, without prospective clinical studies.

Keywords: PET; atherosclerosis; benign; imaging; inflammation; malignant; osteomalacia; review; sarcoidosis; somatostatin.

Publication types

  • Review