Table of Contents
International Journal of Molecular Imaging
Volume 2011, Article ID 279345, 6 pages
Research Article

Feasibility of Imaging Esophageal Cancer with Labeled Somatostatin Analogue

1Division of Medical Imaging and Technology, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institute, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
2Department of Radiology, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
3Department of Nuclear Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
4Division of Surgery, Karolinska Institute at Campus Huddinge, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 28 June 2010; Revised 2 September 2010; Accepted 20 January 2011

Academic Editor: Domenico Rubello

Copyright © 2011 Gunnar Herlin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. While the surface of a cell normally has some amount of somatostatin receptors, these receptors are overexpressed to a very high degree in multiple neoplastic diseases. No data exist for esophageal carcinoma. Purpose. To find out whether esophageal carcinoma could be imaged using somatostatin receptor scintigraphy. Material and Methods. 34 patients with esophageal lesions were prospectively examined by 99mTc-depreotide scintigraphy 2 and 4 hours after injection. Quantitative evaluation of 99mTc-depreotide uptake was performed around the lesion (T) and in healthy lung parenchyma (B). The relative uptake was calculated as T−B/B. Scintigraphy results were compared with histopathology from surgery or biopsy specimens from endoscopic ultrasonography. Results. 21 patients had esophageal cancer, and 13 lesions were benign. Visual assessment revealed positive 99mTc-depreotide uptake in 16 of the 21 cancers. The 13 patients without cancer had no depreotide uptake. The Mann-Whitney U test showed a statistically significant difference ( 𝑃 < . 0 0 5 ) between 99mTc-depreotide uptake in malignant and benign lesions, for both the 2-hour and the 4-hour measurements. Conclusion. Scintigraphic examination with 99mTc-depreotide is feasible for imaging esophageal cancer, but the method is not suitable neither for screening or primary diagnosis, because of methods modest sensitivity. Our first results showed high specificity which should be used with caution, as the number of patients was relatively low. Further studies are needed to determine the role of the method.