The role of radiolabeled somatostatin analogs in adrenal imaging

Nucl Med Biol. 1996 Aug;23(6):677-80. doi: 10.1016/0969-8051(96)00065-0.


We investigated the role of radiolabeled somatostatin analogs (SAs) in adrenal imaging. We evaluated 15 patients (6 men and 9 women, mean age 47 +/- 17 years) with imaging-detected adrenal tumors. Patient population was divided into two groups on the basis of the nature of adrenal lesions. Group 1 consisted of patients with benign adrenal lesions (n = 10). Group 2 consisted of patients with malignant adrenal lesions (n = 5). Pathology examinations were obtained in 13 cases: 7 pheochromocytomas, 2 adenomas, 2 cysts, 1 carcinoma, and 1 fibro-histiocytoma. One patient had a proven diagnosis of non-small-cell lung cancer associated with the presence of a right adrenal mass. The last patient had a clinical diagnosis of Werner syndrome associated with the presence of a large left adrenal mass. All patients underwent scientigraphic studies using radiolabeled SAs, of which indium-111 (In-111) pentetreotide was used in 11 cases and technetium-99m (Tc-99m)-labeled peptides (P-587 or P-829) were used in the remaining four cases. No significant labeled SAs uptake was observed in the majority (8 of 10, 80%) of the benign adrenal lesions (Group 1); however, increased uptake was found in two benign pheochromocytomas. Conversely, significant labeled SAs uptake was observed in the majority (4 of 5, 80%) of the malignant adrenal lesions (Group 2); however, the last lesion (carcinoma) did not show abnormal uptake. Results of this study show that the majority of benign adrenal tumors do not concentrate radiolabeled SAs; conversely, the majority of malignant adrenal lesions show significant SAs uptake, suggesting the presence of somatostatin receptors. This finding may allow the use of somatostatin as a treatment agent in malignant adrenal tumors. Thus, the main role of labeled SAs in adrenal imaging consists of lesion characterization rather than tumor detection and localization.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indium Radioisotopes*
  • Iodine Radioisotopes*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Octreotide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Octreotide / pharmacokinetics
  • Pentetic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Pentetic Acid / pharmacokinetics
  • Pheochromocytoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Pheochromocytoma / metabolism
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Somatostatin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Somatostatin / pharmacokinetics
  • Technetium Compounds* / pharmacokinetics


  • Indium Radioisotopes
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Technetium Compounds
  • SDZ 215-811
  • Somatostatin
  • Pentetic Acid
  • Octreotide