An octreotide scan is a type of SPECT scintigraphy used to find carcinoid, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, and to localize sarcoidosis. It is also called somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS). Octreotide, a drug similar to somatostatin, is radiolabeled with indium-111, and is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The radioactive octreotide attaches to tumor cells that have receptors for somatostatin (i.e. gastrinoma, glucagonoma, etc). A gamma camera detects the radioactive octreotide, and makes pictures showing where the tumor cells are in the body, typically by a SPECT technique. A technetium-99m based radiopharmaceutical kit is also available.
Instead of gamma-emitting 111In, certain octreotide derivatives such as edotreotide (DOTATOC) or DOTATATE are able to be linked by chelation to positron-emitting isotopes such as gallium-68 and copper-64 which in turn can be evaluated with more precise (compared with SPECT) scanning techniques such as PET-CT. Thus, the octreotide scan is now being replaced in most centers with gallium-68 DOTATATE and copper-64 DOTATATE scans. Somatostatin receptor imaging can now be performed with positron emission tomography (PET) which offers higher resolution and more rapid imaging.
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The 99mTc product is supplied as a kit with two vials, one containing the chelating agent ethylenediaminediacetic acid (EDDA) and the other the HYNIC-Tyr3-octreotide chelator and somatostatin analog. Approxiamtely 400-700 MBq may be administered, with imaging at 2, 4, and occasionally 24 hours post administration. 99mTc based octreotide imaging shows slightly higher sensitivity than 111In.