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N Engl J Med. 1990 Nov 1;323(18):1246-9.

Somatostatin-receptor imaging in the localization of endocrine tumors.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



A number of different tumors have receptors for somatostatin. We evaluated the efficacy of scanning with 123I-labeled Tyr3-octreotide, a somatostatin analogue, for tumor localization in 42 patients with carcinoid tumors, pancreatic endocrine tumors, or paragangliomas. We then evaluated the response to octreotide therapy in some of these patients.


Primary tumors or metastases, often previously unrecognized, were visualized in 12 of 13 patients with carcinoid tumors and in 7 of 9 patients with pancreatic endocrine tumors. The endocrine symptoms of these patients responded well to therapy with octreotide. Among 20 patients with paragangliomas, 8 of whom had more than one tumor, 10 temporal (tympanic or jugular), 9 carotid, and 10 vagal tumors could be visualized. One small tympanic tumor and one small carotid tumor were not seen on the scan.


The 123I-labeled Tyr3-octreotide scanning technique is a rapid and safe procedure for the visualization of some tumors with somatostatin receptors. A positive scan may predict the ability of octreotide therapy to control symptoms of hormonal hypersecretion.

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