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Clin Nucl Med. 2005 May;30(5):308-11.

In-111 DTPA octreotide scintigraphy and intraoperative gamma probe detection in the diagnosis and treatment of residual lymph node metastases of a rectal carcinoid tumor.

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  • 1Nuclear Medicine Service, University Hospital Lozano Blesa, Zaragoza, Spain.



We report a case of a rectal carcinoid tumor that was treated using endoscopic resection. This case highlights the usefulness of using somatostatin receptor scintigraphy in the postresection endoscopy of the tumor and the intraoperative use of a gamma probe detector for the surgical resection of metastatic adenopathy that had not been detected using computed tomography (CT) scanning.


The patient was studied using CT scanning, somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS), and rectal endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS). A gamma probe detector was scheduled for use during the subsequent surgical intervention.


The SRS demonstrated a pelvic metastatic lymphatic node that had not been detected on CT scanning. Additional EUS did not show regional metastatic lymph nodes. Histopathology following removal of retroperitoneal and presacral lymphatic nodes confirmed the diagnosis of metastatic carcinoid tumor. At follow up at 6 months, SRS and rectoscopy were normal.


Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy is very useful in identifying the presence of lymph node metastases, even with a small rectal carcinoid tumor. This is of considerable importance when scheduling surgery and the CT and EUS are normal. The use of an intraoperative gamma-probe detector assists in the surgical excision of the metastatic lymphatic nodes, especially because they had been detected only using SRS, and when their exact location is uncertain.

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