AbstractBackground and Aims
Whole-body PET with 68Ga-DOTA-D-Phe1-Tyr3-octreotide (68Ga-DOTATOC) and contrast-enhanced CT (ceCT) are considered a standard for the staging of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). This study sought to verify whether early dynamic (ed) 68Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT can reliably detect liver metastases of NETs (hypervascular, nonhypervascular; positive or negative for somatostatin receptors) and to verify if the receptor positivity has a significant impact on the detection of tumor hypervascularization.Methods
Twenty-seven patients with NET were studied by ceCT and standard whole-body PET according to established 68Ga-DOTATOC protocols. In addition, edPET data were obtained by continuous scanning during the first 300 seconds after bolus injections of the radiotracer. Early dynamic PET required an additional low-dose, native CT image of the liver for the purpose of attenuation correction. Time-activity and time-contrast curves were obtained, the latter being calculated by the difference between tumor and reference regions.Results
Early dynamic PET/CT proved comparable with ceCT in readily identifying hypervascular lesions, irrespective of the receptor status, with activities rising within 16 to 40 seconds. Early dynamic PET/CT also readily identified nonhypervascular, receptor-positive lesions. Positive image contrasts were obtained for hypervascular, receptor-positive lesions, whereas early negative contrasts were obtained for nonhypervascular, receptor-negative lesions.Conclusions
The high image contrast of hypervascular NET metastases in early arterial phases suggests that edPET/CT can become a useful alternative in patients with contraindications to ceCT. The high density of somatostatin receptors did not seem to interfere with the detection of the lesion's hypervascularization.